Drew Brees will enter the Saints Hall of Fame

In early 2006, quarterback Drew Brees had a surgically-repaired shoulder that kept the Dolphins from offering him a contract. It didn't stop the Saints.

Eighteen years later, Brees has been elected to the Saints' Hall of Fame.

His arrival, along with coach Sean Payton, laid the foundation for a rebirth of the city in the aftermath of a hurricane that devastated the region. From the first home game of the regular-season, a raucous Week 3 Monday night victory over the Falcons, it was clear that things had changed for the long-suffering franchise.

Three years later, the Saints won a Super Bowl.

Although they never got back to the Super Bowl, the Saints contended more often than not with Payton and Brees. And Brees put together the kind of career that will eventually get him to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, on the first try.

Brees entered the NFL in 2001 as the first pick in round two by the Chargers, after they traded the first overall selection (and the rights to Michael Vick) to the Falcons. Brees eventually became the starter, but the Chargers decided to supplant him with Philip Rivers.

Brees suffered the shoulder injury during his last game with the Chargers. That ultimately scared away the Dolphins and created an opening for the Saints.

So it was damaged quarterback and damaged city that repaired themselves together, leading a team that had only postseason win in its history before his arrival to the kind of heights many thought it would ever achieve.