3 strangest players to ever play in a New Orleans Saints jersey


New Orleans Saints

Runningback Earl Campbell #35 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by John Betancourt/Getty Images)

The New Orleans Saints were once the laughingstock of the NFL, but there were a few players who gave them a chance at the end of their careers. Even recently, with the Saints a yearly contender, there are some strange signings on that team.

The New Orleans Saints have been around for a long time. The franchise joined the league in 1967. Then, it went pretty terribly. The Saints didn’t make the playoffs until 1987 and didn’t win a playoff game until 2000. Because of that lack of success, they took a lot of chances on reclamation projects.

That’s led to some really strange players spending time in New Orleans. While some free agent signings were amongst the best signings ever (Drew Brees, Joe Horn, Darren Sproles), some fell incredibly flat. Looking back, it’s strange to see these players in a Saints jersey.

There are so many to choose from that there are multiple Hall of Famers who don’t make the list. Jim Taylor was great with the early era Green Bay Packers, but his career ended after one season with the expansion Saints. They also signed Paul Hornung in 1967, but he smartly retired before playing a snap in black and gold. Doug Atkins is also a Hall of Famer, but at least he was good in New Orleans. There’s one Hall of Famer who HAS to make the list.

Here are the strangest players we ever saw in a New Orleans Saints uniform:

3. Earl Campbell

Earl Campbell is one of the best running backs of all time. After an incredibly successful college run with the University of Texas, he was drafted by the Houston Oilers. With the Oilers, he immediately made an impact. He had 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns in his rookie season. That jumped to 1,697 yards and 19 touchdowns in his second season in Houston. He broke plenty of records during his time in Houston and was a Pro Bowler for five of his first six seasons.

The Saints trading for Campbell was just bizarre. They already had George Rogers, who was already one of the better running backs in the league. The former Heisman Trophy winner was already successful after the Saints took him with their 1981 first-overall pick. Now, the Saints had Campbell and Rogers on the same roster.

In a season and a half in New Orleans, Campbell had one 100-yard game. He blamed the beating he took during his career for his diminished numbers (which is more than fair). Campbell finished his career with 9,407 yards. If he never went to the Saints, he might have reached 10,000 career rushing yards.



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