NFC South: Aaron Brooks

Quarterback Aaron Brooks and kicker John Carney were elected to the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame on Tuesday. The induction ceremony will take place at an unspecified date during the Saints' 2014 season.

Carney, who spent eight seasons in New Orleans as part of his remarkable 23-year NFL career, was elected in his first year of eligibility by the media selection committee (a group that is independent of the Saints' organization). Brooks' enshrinement, however, took a few years since his career in New Orleans was filled with some highs and lows.

Brooks led the Saints to their first-ever playoff victory in 2000 against the St. Louis Rams after being acquired that summer in a trade with the Green Bay Packers. Brooks left after the 2005 season as the Saints’ all-time leader in touchdown passes (120 -- a mark that has since been surpassed by Drew Brees). And Brooks ranks third in franchise history with 19,156 passing yards.

However, Brooks also threw 84 interceptions in his six seasons, and he was never able to lead the Saints back to the playoffs. And at times, his leadership was called into question, which earned him his share of critics among the fan base and media.

Ultimately, however, Brooks will now be honored among the franchise’s all-time greats because those highs outweighed the lows. And he was emotional while giving his acceptance speech on Tuesday.

"Obviously it's very humbling. It's quite an honor to be inducted, to be a part of New Orleans Saints history. And it's very emotional for me at times," said Brooks, who had to pause briefly to collect himself. "I've been a little nervous at times, just knowing what the team and myself accomplished over the years and what we tried to do individually, what my wife and I tried to accomplish in the community ...

"Although there were some trying times, some challenging times, through it all it feels good to know that we have prevailed, we're still standing tall, but more importantly to know that we are being looked at in a different light. Because we did not do it by ourselves."

Carney, who was with the Saints from 2001-06 and 2009-10, is the Saints' career leader in field goal percentage (.828) and ranks second in franchise history in points (768) and field goals made (168).

Carney was part of the Super Bowl championship team in 2009 as a part-time replacement and mentor for young kicker Garrett Hartley. And he was a key part of the team that reached the NFC Championship Game in 2006. He kicked six game-winning field goals in the final 10 seconds for the Saints.

"It was an exciting time to be a Saints player this past decade," Carney said. "I was just blessed to be part of it, and I'm just blessed to have been recognized here at the Saints Hall of Fame."

Jacksonville not warm place for Saints

September, 27, 2011
It seems like there are a lot of reasons to look at the history of the New Orleans Saints lately.

In Sunday’s victory over Houston, the Saints wore their throwback uniforms. There also was a heart-warming story as the Saints had Steve Gleason as an honorary captain and gave him a Super Bowl ring. That came on the fifth anniversary of the re-opening of the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina and brought back memories of Gleason blocking a punt in a huge New Orleans win.

This week will bring back more memories and it’s probably a good thing that not many people associated with the Saints back in 2003 are still with the team. That’s because the Saints will be making their first trip back to Jacksonville since a very unpleasant experience.

In Week 16 of the 2003 season, the Saints and Jaguars were involved in one of the most dramatic finishes in NFL history. Trailing 20-13, the Saints got off a play as time expired. Aaron Brooks (remember him?) threw a pass that ended with Jerome Pathon landing in the end zone after three laterals and 75 yards.

Seemingly, the game was headed for overtime and the Saints would have had all the momentum against the stunned Jaguars. But, then, something weird happened. Normally-reliable kicker John Carney missed the extra point, the Jaguars won 20-19 and the Saints were eliminated from contention.

That’s how things used to play out for the Saints a lot of times. But that kind of thing seemed to come to an end as soon as Brooks left and coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees arrived in 2006.
With some help from ESPN Stats & Information and the media relations departments of the NFL, the Saints, Falcons and Buccaneers, it’s time for some superlatives on New Orleans, Atlanta and Tampa Bay. Carolina doesn’t qualify because superlatives have become a non-existent species for the Panthers this year.
  • The Saints reached the 10-win mark for the second straight year. The last time New Orleans had back-to-back seasons of double-digit wins was in 1991-92.
  • The Saints have scored 30 or more points in five consecutive games for the second time in franchise history. The only other instance was from Oct. 6 through Nov. 10, 2002, when New Orleans topped the 30-point mark against Pittsburgh (32), Washington (43), San Francisco (35), Atlanta (35) and Carolina (34). Yep, the good, old Aaron Brooks days.
  • New Orleans’ Drew Brees has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 24 consecutive regular-season games, dating back to Week 4 of last season.
  • New Orleans safety Roman Harper forced his team-leading fifth fumble of the season in the first quarter Sunday. Harper is tied for fourth in the NFL in forced fumbles. He has 11 forced fumbles in his five-year NFL career. Harper also had a quarterback sack.
  • Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman led the seventh fourth-quarter/overtime comeback victory of his career, five of which have come this season. He finished 15-of-25 for 266 yards, including a game-winning 41-yard touchdown strike to Kellen Winslow with 3:47 left in the fourth quarter. Freeman also added another 10 yards on the ground and a two-point conversion which gave the Buccaneers a seven-point lead. In the second half alone, Freeman was 11-for-16 for 214 yards and the score. With the 27th passing touchdown of his career, he passed Shaun King (26 from 1999-03) for the eighth-most passing touchdowns in team history.
  • Tampa Bay rookie Arrelious Benn caught four passes for 122 yards. It marked the first 100-yard receiving game of his career.
  • The Bucs are 7-2 in their last nine road games.
  • The Bucs averaged 7.0 yards per play against Washington. It was the first time all season the Bucs have averaged at least 7.0 yards per play.
  • For the second time in the past three seasons, the Falcons have posted 11 wins in a season. It is the first time in franchise history that the team has posted three straight winning seasons and 11 wins are tied for the third most in a single season in franchise history. The Falcons posted a franchise-best 14-2 record in 1998, went 12-4 in 1980 and posted 11-5 seasons in 2004 and 2008.
  • Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan tied his career-high with his 22nd touchdown pass of the season. The third-year pro has thrown at least one touchdown pass in a career-best 12 consecutive games, and the Falcons own a 28-7 record when he finds a man in the end zone at least once. Since 2008, Ryan’s 60 touchdowns rank fifth in the NFC.
  • The Falcons are the first NFC team with a 3,000-yard passer (Ryan), a 1,000-yard rusher (Michael Turner) and a 1,000-yard receiver (WR Roddy White) this season. The Houston Texans (Matt Schaub, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson) are the only other team to accomplish that feat in 2010.
  • Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant has made 13 straight field goal attempts.
NEW ORLEANS -- The Saints’ media relations staff just sent out a list of statistical superlatives following a 16-14 win over Carolina. Let’s take a look at some highlights.

  • The Saints ran 79 offensive plays and held the ball for 38 minutes, 22 seconds. The time of possession is the third highest total in Sean Payton’s tenure.
  • Drew Brees moved past Aaron Brooks into second place on the team’s all-time passing yardage list. Brees now has 19,427 yards since joining the Saints. He trails only Archie Manning (21,734 yards).
  • John Carney became just the third player in an NFL game at age 46. The late George Blanda played until he was 48 and former New Orleans kicker Morten Andersen played until he was 47.
  • Backup quarterback Chase Daniel got his first NFL playing time. Daniel served as the holder on place kicks, a role previously held by punter Thomas Morstead.
  • If you’re looking for a breakout player, it might be defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis. He had a sack and leads the team with three. Ellis also batted down two passes at the line of scrimmage.
  • The Saints went more than 37 minutes before their first penalty. That came on a holding call in the third quarter.

Beloved/disliked: New Orleans Saints

September, 7, 2010
We’ll start with the New Orleans Saints as we unveil the results of the voting for the most beloved and disliked figures in the history of each NFC South franchise.

Beloved figure: Drew Brees.

Reader comment: " Before the '06 season, this would have been a hard choice for me between Deuce McAllister and Archie Manning, but Drew Brees is the easy choice here. He will always be the man who took us to our first Super Bowl. Not to mention, he is an incredible person who loves the city as much as we love him." ---Tom, New Orleans LA

Runner-up: McAllister. Brees won by more than 40 votes, but McAllister, Manning and Sean Payton all drew some support in this category.

Disliked figure: Aaron Brooks

Reader comment: "I'm a diehard Saints fan, most hated/despised would be Aaron Brooks probably. He just seemed to epitomize the Saints, underachieved and seemed to make the wrong move at the wrong time. Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory kind of stuff. " ---Eric, Jackson, Miss.

Runner-up: Mike Ditka. Brooks and Ditka dominated this category, but former cornerback Jason David also drew a fair amount of votes.

Update on voting for beloved/disliked

September, 2, 2010
I just got the latest results in your voting for the most beloved and disliked figures in NFC South history and we’ve had a little bit of movement.

According to Kevin Little, the Saint Leo University student who is helping us out by tabulating the votes, the tightest races are in the Carolina precinct.

At least as of late last night Julius Peppers and Kerry Collins were tied for the lead in the disliked category. Although Jake Delhomme was getting a lot of early votes in the disliked category (and still is getting some), I think Carolina fans now are looking at the bigger picture of what the quarterback did for their franchise. Kevin reports Delhomme has now climbed into second place in the beloved category and isn’t all that far off leader Sam Mills.

In the Atlanta precinct, Bobby Petrino is running away with the disliked category. But the interesting thing here is the beloved category, where Matt Ryan, Jessie Tuggle and Arthur Blank are in virtually a three-way tie for the lead.

The exit polls in New Orleans show a very close battle in the disliked category with Aaron Brooks holding a very slight lead over Mike Ditka. Drew Brees is running away in the beloved category.

In Tampa Bay, Hugh Culverhouse has a sizable lead in the disliked category. Mike Alstott’s got a comfortable lead in the beloved category. That’s a little surprising to me. I mean, Alstott was a good player for a long time and a nice guy, but I can’t help but wonder if people are forgetting about the contributions guys like Derrick Brooks, Lee Roy Selmon and Tony Dungy made to this franchise.

Then again, I don’t want to steer the vote. These are your choices. The voting continues through 5 p.m. ET on Friday. If you haven’t voted yet, please send your votes to the mailbag.

I’ll announce the winners next week.

Sampling the early votes

September, 1, 2010
I’ve got some early results on your voting for the beloved and disliked figures in the history of each franchise.

The polls remain open, so send your votes to the mailbag, if you haven’t done so already. We’ll close the voting at 5 p.m. ET Friday and announce the winners next week.

What I’m about to show you is by no means final. It’s just an early overview of how the vote is going so far, according to Saint Leo University student Kevin Little, who is serving as our official statistician on this project.

For the Saints, Drew Brees has a big early lead in the beloved category. In the disliked category, Mike Ditka’s got the lead right now, but Aaron Brooks is right on his heels.

For the Falcons, Matt Ryan has the early lead in the beloved category, but Jesse Tuggle, Mike Smith and Arthur Blank are very much within striking distance. Bobby Petrino is leading the disliked category.

In Tampa Bay, we’ve got clear leaders with Mike Alstott as beloved and Hugh Culverhouse as disliked.

In Carolina, Sam Mills has a pretty solid lead in the beloved category. For disliked, Julius Peppers has the lead, but Kerry Collins and George Seifert are very much in the mix.

Early observations on your votes

August, 31, 2010
Just sent the first round of ballots in our contest for the most disliked and most beloved figures in NFC South history into the capable hands of Kevin Little, who is going to be tabulating the results. A senior Sports Business major at Saint Leo University, Kevin’s doing an internship with the Gator Bowl and has graciously agreed to do a quasi-internship in helping with this project.

The voting continues, probably for the rest of the week, so step into the voting booth if you haven’t yet. I scanned the ballots that were just sent off to Kevin and it was fascinating. First off, you’re doing a great job playing by the rules we set out, although I’m not really sure how we got a ballot that had the most disliked and beloved figures in LSU history -- that one’s not going to be tabulated.

I don’t want to influence the vote, but I’ll throw out a few observations.
  • Perhaps the thing that struck me most was the range of emotions from Carolina fans on Jake Delhomme and John Kasay. The former quarterback and the current kicker are getting lots of votes in both categories and that makes some sense. I guess some Carolina fans look at Delhomme’s whole time there and appreciate his contributions, while others are focusing on the quarterback’s horrible final season. Kind of the same with Kasay, the last original Panther. He’s getting a lot of credit for his longevity and the way he carries himself. But there also seem to be a lot of Carolina fans with long memories, who can’t forget Kasay’s lousy kickoff late in the team’s only Super Bowl.
  • Speaking of fans with long memories, Hugh Culverhouse’s name seems to be coming in on quite a few ballots in the Tampa Bay precinct and they’re not checking off the most beloved box. Tampa often gets labeled as a town full of transplants. But this shows me that Tampa Bay fans haven’t forgotten Culverhouse, the team’s original owner, and how bad things were in the early years. Bo Jackson also is getting some votes. Even though he never played for the Bucs, let’s make it clear he’s eligible. The Bucs used a top draft pick on Jackson and it turned out to be a waste when he decided he didn’t want to play for the franchise.
  • I can’t say there’s anything remarkable coming out of the Atlanta precinct. As you might expect, Bobby Petrino and Michael Vick are dominating the disliked category. Lots of beloved votes are coming in too, but I don’t see anyone running away in that category so far.
  • Saints fans are voting the way you’d expect. Drew Brees is getting a lot of beloved votes. Aaron Brooks, Mike Ditka, Tom Benson and Ricky Williams are all running strong campaigns in the disliked category.

We’ll close this out by sharing one New Orleans ballot that I thought was pretty unique and cool.
  • Scott in St. Amant, La., writes: I'll throw a slight curve here and say Jim Henderson of WWL TV and Radio. He's been the radio play-by-play man for the Saints since 86, and the sports anchor for WWL TV since the late 70's. The radio broadcast of Saints games is such a local institution that everyone has at least one family member who insists on playing the radio broadcast alongside the TV one. Jim Henderson has been the calm in the storm through many years of Saints fans pulling their hair out at the teams bad decisions, bad play, and just plain bad luck, while his rare, well thought out and scathing rants are a sign of impending regime change. He has become as much a part of the local Saints experience in the last quarter century as old- time baseball announcers like Ernie Harwell and Harry Caray were for their teams.

A bit more input please?

August, 28, 2010
I asked Friday for your help on setting some parameters on the most disliked people in the NFC South for an upcoming project that was hatched by a reader. Just wanted to get some input before we start, because I see all sorts of potential issues and arguments if we don’t have some pretty firm ground rules.

You filled up the mailbag with some good suggestions, and I’ve made a few decisions but still want more of your input on at least one other issue.

First off, we’re going to disqualify former Carolina receiver Rae Carruth, sort of like we did with quarterbacks for our recent project on indispensable players. I’m doing this, because what Carruth was convicted of was so heinous, it goes so far beyond football and would skew this whole project. I’m not saying you can’t vote for other guys who have had off-field problems. But Carruth is off limits, otherwise it would be pointless to ask Carolina fans to even bother voting.

Next, after listening to what a lot of you had to say about whether we should limit this to players, I think you made it clear we should include owners, coaches and general managers.

But the part I haven’t made a decision on yet is what time frame to work with. Should we make it for the entire history of each NFC South team? That would allow us to include people like former Tampa Bay owner Hugh Culverhouse and former Atlanta quarterback Jeff George, just to name a few.

Or should we begin at the moment the NFC South officially became a division at the start of the 2002 season? That leaves out people like Culverhouse and George, and even Carruth never played in the actual NFC South.

Or, finally, should we limit it only to people currently with NFC South teams? That would eliminate Aaron Brooks, who already is drawing tremendous support from the New Orleans precincts and Michael Vick and Jake Delhomme, who already have pretty strong campaigns led by Atlanta and Carolina fans.

I’m kind of leaning toward throwing it open to anyone who ever has been with a franchise that’s now in the NFC South. But the input I’ve seen from readers so far has been pretty mixed on this. So I’m sending out one more request for you to pass along your thoughts to my mailbag on what time frame we should work with.

I’m not asking for votes yet, although, believe me, I’ve already received a bunch. I’d just like to firm up the time frame before I send out the official parameters and ask you for your votes. I'm hoping this project will be ready to roll sometime in the next week or so.

NFC South mailbag

March, 20, 2010
The final load of laundry is finishing up, the suitcase is partly packed and, soon, the NFC South Blog team bus will leave for Orlando and the NFL owners meeting. But as I waited for that laundry to finish, I took a quick look through the mailbag. Here you go.

Bobby in Burlington, NC writes: Keep feeding us these GREAT articles about the Cats!! First King Julius(a masterpiece) and then the one on our two-headed monster. Glad to know it's premium fuel they run on. Glad Marty Hurney and John Fox picked DeAngelo Williams over that idiot Lendale White. One prime example of excellent drafting. Too bad they don't make more decisions like this. DeAngelo defintely needs a raise though!!

Pat Yasinskas: Be patient. I think DeAngelo’s raise will be coming. The flip side of this purge is you could see guys like Williams, Jon Beason and Thomas Davis end up with long-term contracts. By the way, DeAngelo actually used the term “supreme’’ fuel.

Chris in Harrisburg, PA writes: I have been reading how everyone is wondering why the Glazers aren't spending any money on UFA's and I am kind of sick of hearing fans bash the Front Office for not pursuing guys like Dunta Robinson, Brandon Marshall or Julius Peppers. Don't they know that they need to save money to resign some of their own key players like Tanard Jackson, Davin Joseph, Barrett Ruud, and yes maybe even Geno Hayes?

Pat Yasinskas: Chris, I’m with you -- to a large degree. It’s very easy to sit there and call the Glazers cheap. Too easy and too many fans just do that because they can. Now, there may be something to be said about their frugality, but I don’t think it’s fair or accurate to say it until you look at all angles. You’re making a good point about keeping some of their own players and I’m glad you did. As far as pointing to Manchester United and saying the soccer team is draining the football team, I think that’s a huge leap. If someone out there has actually seen the books -- and not just read a few stories about Manchester United’s debt -- and you know for sure the Bucs are cheap, then let me know. But don’t just speculate about it. In other words, if you want to talk, be able to back it up.

Mookie in Snellville, GA writes: Pat, I know the chat is over. But I had to leave a comment to you on the 02' Bucs vs. 09' Saints. If my memory serves me correct, Aaron Brooks and the 02' Saints swept the 02' Bucs that year. Drew Brees and Co. woulda crushed them easily !!!

Pat Yasinskas: I promise, that will be factored in later this summer when we do our project on the best NFC South team ever and the best single-season team in the history of all four franchises.

Nate in Palmer, Alaska writes: The Bucs depth at running back seems pretty good this upcoming season. It appeared last season Derrick Ward was supposed to be the man at RB for the Bucs Carnell Williams returned with such force and energy. As a long time Bucs fan, I think he was one of the very few highlights of our 2008/09 season and wouldn't mind seeing him get the starting nod this year. What are your thoughts on this?

Pat Yasinskas: Yes, Ward was brought in to be the starter and got big money. He never really produced like the Bucs had imagined. Williams did produce. He won the starting job last year and I don’t anticipate that changing.

NFC South mailbag

March, 13, 2010
Jeff in Charleston, SC writes: Great article on Warrick Dunn and his limited partnership with the Atlanta Falcons organization. You put this whole confusing situation into perspective and gave us fans a great story about one of our all-time favorite Falcons. In your mind, what does this say about the organization that a classy, philanthropist and former player like Dunn would embark on this journey with the Falcons.

Pat Yasinskas: It was a fun story to do. I covered Dunn when he came into the league with the Bucs as a very shy and private kid. The guy I interviewed on the phone the other day was an extremely polished businessman and that was very cool for me to see. Dunn had a great career and we all know about the great things he does off the field. This move says a lot about the Falcons. Arthur Blank thinks the world of Dunn. Blank also has grown as an owner. He’s been burned in the past by some players with off-field issues, but he’s learned from that and tightened up the ship. Bringing on a guy like Dunn only makes the ship more elegant. By the way, I want to emphasize this isn’t some token role. Dunn is very serious about learning the business side of football and said he dreams of being a majority owner of a franchise someday.

Jason in Jacksonville, FL writes: Need a little help figuring out some of my fellow Carolina fans. If I recall last year about 90% of us were screaming “WE WANT (Matt) MOORE! WE WANT MOORE!’’ .Then we got Moore and he went 4-1 as a starter and only threw 1 INT. Now all I see anywhere is bring in Michael Vick, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn etc.

Pat Yasinskas: Very true. I guess the best way to put it is that’s the nature of the beast and it’s not unique among Carolina fans. Quarterback is the glamour position and the easiest thing in the world to point at. The backup always seems to be the most popular guy in town when things aren’t going well. I can remember fans screaming for Casey Weldon and Scott Milanovich when I covered the Bucs and fans yelling for Brett Basanez when I covered the Panthers. Let me assure you, John Fox and Marty Hurney aren’t basing their decisions on public opinion. They plan to at least give Moore a shot to win the job. They may bring in someone to compete with him, but it won’t be Vick.

Peter in New York writes: Now that the Falcons have addressed the CB position in Dunta Robinson and have a wealth of young talent on the defensive side of the ball, what do you rate the possibility of them drafting another offensive weapon in the first round? If a C.J. Spiller or a Dez Bryant happened to be available, will they pull the trigger?

Pat Yasinskas: It’s possible. But I think there still are needs on the defensive side, mainly at defensive end and maybe at outside linebacker. Mike Smith is a defensive coach and I think the Falcons already have pretty good weapons at the offensive skill positions. My guess is they go with defense.

Da Truth in Woodbridge, VA writes: Pat, I've been blogging in your "How I See It: NFC South Stock Watch" article. One Panther fan seems to think they and the Saints are the team to beat this year and that the Falcons did nothing to improve their defense. Even to go as far and say Dunta Robinson is not really an upgrade--just an overpaid, tackle-after-the-fact CB. Of course I'm a Falcon fan and him being a Panther fan we're both biased toward our teams. From an unbiased point of view, who do you think will be in the better position to challenge NO for the division title and the playoffs?

Pat Yasinskas: At the moment, I think the Falcons are the team most likely to challenge the Saints. I think Atlanta has improved so far this offseason. Don’t see any way you can say the same about Carolina right now. But there still is time in free agency and the draft and I’m anxious to see what Fox and Hurney have up their sleeves.

Wes in New Orleans writes: As always, you do a great job, but your note about Jake Delhomme contained a fairly noticeable factual error. Aaron Brooks' draft status was not the reason Jim Haslett was obligated to keep him at starter. He was drafted by Green Bay and was traded to New Orleans for a draft pick. His contract had much more to do with it.

Pat Yasinskas: You are absolutely correct. Thanks to you and a few other New Orleans fans for pointing out my error. I’ll go back and fix it. Brooks was Haslett’s guy and the Saints put a lot of money into him. That’s why Delhomme never really got a fair shake in his first stint with New Orleans. By the way, he was supposed to visit the Saints on Saturday, but that got delayed because of problems with his flight schedule. Delhomme now is scheduled to visit the Saints on Sunday.
TAMPA, Fla. -- I’m on my way to see a New York Yankees spring training game (weather permitting) tonight. But I had to pull over to give you a little update on Jake Delhomme.



The former Carolina quarterback visited the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, but, as we’ve been saying all along, there remains a real possibility of him staying in the NFC South. There are reports Delhomme’s next visit will be to the New Orleans Saints.

We’ve even heard from a reliable source in New Orleans that coach Sean Payton was heard publicly praising Delhomme earlier today.

This one makes sense on a lot of levels. Payton tried to get Delhomme to Dallas when he was an assistant coach there. He also currently is in the market for a backup quarterback because Mark Brunell is a free agent or could be heading for retirement. Delhomme would be an upgrade over Brunell because he’s younger. He also would be a good extra pair of eyes for starter Drew Brees and is a good guy to have in the locker room.

Then, there’s Delhomme’s history. He grew up in Louisiana and loves it there. He began his career with the Saints and was a fan favorite. That was back at a time when former coach Jim Haslett was obligated to “franchise’’ quarterback Aaron Brooks because of his large contract. Delhomme never had a shot to compete with Brooks.

In the current climate, Delhomme also would be a backup because nobody’s going to take Brees’ job anytime soon. But Delhomme may be at a point in his life and his career where he can be content with that. Plus, he’d be back home.

We’ll see what happens over the next few days.

Delhomme could stay in NFC South

March, 4, 2010
With tonight’s news that the Carolina Panthers are parting ways with Jake Delhomme, I think there is a chance Delhomme could stay in the NFC South.

In fact, I started to write that I could see Delhomme landing with any of the other three NFC South teams. But before I could post this item, ESPN’s John Clayton called to tell me the Falcons have agreed to re-sign backup Chris Redman. So scratch the Falcons off that list.

But I still can see solid logic in the Buccaneers or Saints pursuing Delhomme. Let’s face it, Delhomme’s days as a starter are probably over. But he apparently still wants to play or else he simply would have retired. He’s a competitor, a trait that makes it tough for some guys to accept backup roles.

But I think Delhomme is one of those guys that could handle it quite nicely. I also think he’d be an excellent mentor for any young quarterback. It wouldn’t hurt another NFC South team to have a guy who could give them an inside look at Carolina’s playbook.

Let’s examine the scenarios with the Buccaneers and Saints:

Tampa Bay: In a lot of ways, I think this could be the best landing spot for Delhomme. The Bucs still have Byron Leftwich, but there has been a lot of speculation he could be on his way out. If he goes, the Bucs need someone to help mentor franchise quarterback Josh Freeman and reserve Josh Johnson. Delhomme is a natural for that role and he also would bring leadership to a locker room that didn’t have much of that last year.

New Orleans: Backup Mark Brunell is a free agent and I’m not sure the Saints want to bring him back because of his age. Delhomme is no Drew Brees, but also is no Aaron Brooks. Delhomme is a guy who could fill in for a game or two because he’s smart and he also would fit nicely into any locker room. Plus, Delhomme is a Louisiana guy. He started his career in New Orleans. That would be a nice place for Delhomme to finish his career.

Brees claims team TD pass record

December, 19, 2009
NEW ORLEANS -- Drew Brees just claimed sole possession of the franchise record for touchdown passes.

Brees just threw No. 121 since joining the Saints in 2006, breaking his tie with Aaron Brooks. Remember him?
It could happen this Sunday and I’m guessing it won’t linger beyond next week, but Drew Brees will become the Saints’ all-time leader in touchdown passes.

That means New Orleans fans can cross off another memory of Aaron Brooks, who never came close to fulfilling his potential. Brooks still is the franchise’s all-time leader with 120 touchdown passes. But Brees has 117.

Heck, Brees is capable of tying or breaking that record in a quarter. For the record, Archie Manning is third with 115 touchdown passes.