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If it's possible to get a franchise with one free-agent pickup, the New Orleans Saints did just that with Drew Brees.
A franchise still reeling following Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans and Louisiana, the Saints, 3-13 in 2005, were eager to find a player to serve as a face of the organization as it tried to begin the restoration process.
The team settled on Brees, who had had some flashes of greatness in San Diego but was deemed expendable after a serious shoulder injury put him behind future star Philip Rivers on the depth chart.
For $60 million over six years, Brees became a Saint. It was, without exaggeration, the greatest free-agency move of all time. Reggie White and Deion Sanders helped define the impact and role of free agency, but it was never responsible for a move that would change the future of an entire organization the way the signing of Brees did.
With Brees, the Saints were instantly competitive. They made the NFC championship game that season, losing to Chicago. In 2008 they narrowly missed the playoffs, but Brees passed for over 5,000 yards. In 2009, the story came full circle, as the Saints went all the way and won their first Super Bowl title.
The culture is different in New Orleans now. The Aints are gone. The Saints, instead, are a powerhouse, a team feeding off of a fervent fanbase and winning culture.
It's all thanks to the quarterback, who set a record for passing yards in a season this past year. As Brees showed, it's impossible to overspend for the right player.