Saints release Brooks after Brees signing
NEW ORLEANS -- Aaron Brooks' days as a New Orleans Saints quarterback, which effectively ended with the team's 3-13 season, officially ended Wednesday when he was unceremoniously released by the club.
New Orleans Saints
He was released on the same day the Saints introduced Drew Brees as their new starting quarterback.
Brooks endured his worst season in 2005, throwing for only 13 touchdowns and 17 interceptions before being benched with three games remaining in the regular season.
While the Saints were usually mired in mediocrity while he was a starter, causing his popularity with fans to waiver, his name is now prominent in the club record books.
After Jeff Blake suffered a season-ending injury in the 11th game of the 2000 season, Brooks came in and went on to start 82 consecutive regular season games, now one of the records he holds. He led the Saints to their only playoff victory in club history in 2000.
He threw for more than 20 touchdowns and 3,500 yards in each of the ensuing four seasons -- the best streaks in either category in club history. And last season he reached 120 career touchdown passes with the Saints, surpassing the old club record of 115 held by Archie Manning.
Against Denver in December of the 2000 season, Brooks threw for 441 yards, the highest single-game total in Saints history. He also was the only Saints quarterback ever to rush for more than 100 yards, although he generally resisted the urge to become a running quarterback like his cousin, Michael Vick.
As good as he was, he may end up most remembered in New Orleans for his untimely interceptions, fumbles and botched plays, like when he tried to avoid being sacked by throwing an inaccurate backwards pass to unexpecting lineman Wayne Gandy in a lopsided loss to San Diego in 2004. Deuce McAllister ended up chasing it down and falling on it for a huge loss.
The moment will overshadow some extraordinary moments that Brooks took part in, such as the thrilling "River City Relay," the multiple-lateral touchdown at the end of regulation in a game at Jacksonville in December 2003.
Brooks threw the initial pass to Donte Stallworth, then ran down field to throw a block that helped spring Jerome Pathon for what could have been the game-tying touchdown at the end of the play. However, John Carney missed the extra point and the Saints lost 20-19.
Brooks, who turns 30 this month, is now a free agent.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press