Alabama and ex-Miami Dolphins head coach Nick Saban appeared on the Dan LeBatard Show on Monday.
Saban revealed that, contrary to popular belief, the Dolphins offered Drew Brees a contract before they offered one to Daunte Culpepper—who eventually signed with the team and promptly ran it into the ground—in 2006:
Saban asked if he would still be in MIA if he chose Brees over Culpepper: "We chose Drew Brees...That's the guy we made the first offer to."— Ben Volin (@BenVolinPBP) December 17, 2012
Saban cont'd: "Quite frankly, he didn't pass the physical. And we were forced to go in another direction."— Ben Volin (@BenVolinPBP) December 17, 2012
Here are some other highlights from Saban's explanation:
We chose Drew Brees. I've never talked about this publicly and I think a lot of players know this. And, there was a lot of loyalty in the organization and players didn't talk about it.
We think Drew Brees was an outstanding player. That's the guy we made the first offer to. Quite frankly, he didn't pass the physical with our organization so we had to go in a different direction, and there was really nothing any of us could do about that.
If true, this shatters a long-held belief that Miami never offered Brees a contract.
Drew Brees in a Dolphins uniform is a theoretical that haunts fans and the organization to this day, especially given its inability to find a franchise quarterback.
Just for some perspective on how fatal of a mistake this was, here's a comparison of Brees' numbers with the Saints and Culpepper's with the Dolphins:
This is really just bringing up ghosts of Christmas past for the Phins, though. At this point, it's only pouring salt in a wound that won't close until a quarterback leads the Dolphins to a Super Bowl. This was five years ago, and it's now nothing more than a footnote in the team's miserable recent history.
Saban put it best: "It doesn't really do much good to talk about this stuff now."