Nick Saban Picked Drew Brees Over Daunte Culpepper in 2006 With Dolphins

Nick Saban SpotlightThis one may hurt Dolphins fans.

In 2006, Miami had a choice to make between Drew Brees, who was recovering from a shoulder injury, and Daunte Culpepper, who was recovering from a knee injury. The Dolphins signed Culpepper (doh!) and the rest is history.

The Dolphins’ head coach at the time was Nick Saban. The current Alabama head coach spoke about his brief time in the NFL — he left to coach the Crimson Tide after just two seasons in Miami — on Dan LeBetard‘s radio show.

“We chose Drew Brees. I’ve never ever talked about this publicly,” said Saban, according to the show’s Twitter feed. “That’s the guy we made the first offer to. A lot of players know this. There was a lot of loyalty in the organization and players never talked about it.”

It’s been well known the Dolphins brought Brees in for a physical during the offseason, but it’s never been stated publicly that Miami made the now Super Bowl-winning quarterback a contract offer.

“We thought Drew Brees was an outstanding player and that’s who we made the first offer to,” Saban said, according to the Sun Sentinel  “Quite frankly, you know, he didn’t pass the physical with our organization so we had to go in another direction and there was nothing any of us could do about that.”

It’s interesting that Saban is now making this information public with rumors that he could be drawing interest from the Cleveland Browns‘ organization. It obviously painted Saban in a bad light that he would pick Culpepper — who was out of the NFL after the 2009 season — over Brees, who won Super Bowl XLIV with the Saints and has gone on to be one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.

Since the Dolphins’ made the decision to go with Culpepper over Brees, they’ve had 10 different starting quarterbacks — Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore, Joey Harrington, Chad Henne, Chad Pennington, Cleo Lemon, Trent Green, John Beck, Tyler Thigpen and Culpepper. The Saints have had two — Brees and one game of Mark Brunell.

It’s pointless for Dolphins fans to play the What If Game, but seeing Brees do so well for the past seven seasons in New Orleans can’t feel good. Fortunately for Miami, it looks like they’ve finally found their franchise quarterback in Tannehill.

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