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New Orleans Saints announce All-50th team

(FOX 8) (FOX 8)
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

The New Orleans Saints announced Friday a listing of the top 50 players in franchise history, as voted on by a special committee of selectors, including the members of the New Orleans Saints Ring of Honor, Saints personnel executives, a blue-ribbon panel of media members and through online balloting on NewOrleansSaints.com.

The selection of the players that compromise the team was on an individual merit-based platform, and thus not on a pre-determined specific number of players at each position.  An example was the selection of six linebackers, including the entire starting unit of the fabled “Dome Patrol” (Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling, Vaughan Johnson and the late Sam Mills), as well as Jonathan Vilma and Joe Federspiel.  Other position groups, such as fullback, punter and kicker, each garnered one selection each.  Special teams standouts also played an important part in the formation of the All-50th New Orleans Saints team.

“It is a thrill and an honor to see the names of these terrific football players who reached the highest levels of success and were looked upon so favorably by the fans of the team, the media, and those that follow the game so closely,” said Saints Owner Tom Benson.  “Some of these selections were rather obvious, but others merited great discussion and debate and it became fascinating to watch the process of identifying the team play itself out. These are all deserving men and it’s not a slight on the countless others who certainly fit very well into the conversation. We look forward to welcoming them back to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in December.”

The following players have been identified as the top 50 players in New Orleans Saints history:

WR Danny Abramowicz
K Morten Andersen
C LeCharles Bentley
QB Drew Brees*
TE Hoby Brenner
T Stan Brock
PR Reggie Bush**
TE Henry Childs
WR Marques Colston
G Jim Dombrowski
G Jahri Evans*
LB Joe Federspiel
FB Hokie Gajan
ST Steve Gleason
DT La’Roi Glover
TE Jimmy Graham**
S Roman Harper*
QB Bobby Hebert
C Joel Hilgenberg
C John Hill
RB Dalton Hilliard
WR Joe Horn
PR/KR Tyrone Hughes
LB Rickey Jackson
DE Joe Johnson
LB Vaughan Johnson
S Sammy Knight
G Jake Kupp
RS Michael Lewis
WR Eric Martin
DL Wayne Martin
QB Archie Manning
RB/ST Fred McAfee
RB Deuce McAllister
LB Sam Mills
DT Derland Moore
P Thomas Morstead*
S Tommy Myers
G Carl Nicks
CB Johnnie Poe
T Willie Roaf
DE Will Smith
T Jon Stinchcomb
LB Pat Swilling
RB Pierre Thomas
LB Jonathan Vilma
DE Frank Warren
CB Dave Waymer
CB Dave Whitsell
DT Jim Wilks

*indicates currently on Saints roster

**indicates currently active in NFL with another team

43 of the players on the 50th Season all-star roster currently are alive, while unfortunately seven of the members are deceased.  Each season of Saints football has been accounted for in the selection of the team, beginning with the inaugural 1967 season (WR Danny Abramowicz, G Jake Kupp and CB Dave Whitsell), through the current 2016 team (QB Drew Brees, S Roman Harper, G Jahri Evans and P Thomas Morstead).  Several members of the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV Championship team are represented on the team (Brees, Harper, Morstead, Vilma, T Jon Stinchcomb, Evans, G Carl Nicks, RB Pierre Thomas, WR Marques Colston, DE Will Smith, and Return Specialist Reggie Bush). 

Special teams categories merited special consideration, as well, as several players earned spots through their tremendous contributions in that aspect of the game, including K Morten Andersen, P Thomas Morstead, return specialists Tyrone Hughes, Michael Lewis and Reggie Bush, and coverage dynamos Steve Gleason and Fred McAfee.

The members of the New Orleans Saints All-50th Season Team will be honored during the Saints vs. Detroit Lions game on December 4, 2016.  

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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