For the second time in less than a month, the New Orleans Saints are saying goodbye to a legend.
New Orleans has informed Marques Colston that he will be released, according to reports by ESPN, the NFL Network and the Associated Press, parting ways with the franchise’s all-time leading receiver and the man most synonymous with Drew Brees throughout the most successful era in team history.
Colston's departure was listed as failed physical designation, according to Erickson. His release became official on Monday afternoon.
With the release of Colston, selected in the seventh round of the 2006 draft, only three Saints remain from the team that won the Super Bowl in 2009: Brees, tackle Zach Strief and punter Thomas Morstead. Piece by piece, the remnants of that roster have slipped away over the years, but this offseason’s decision to part ways with Colston and guard Jahri Evans pack an emotional punch to the end of that era.
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“Marques has meant so much to our franchise the last 10 years,” Loomis said during an appearance on Sirius XM’s NFL Radio this month. “Just steady, great leadership, he’s just been fantastic.”
For years, Colston has been a treasure in New Orleans, a figure symbolic of Loomis and coach Sean Payton’s ability to find diamonds where the rest of the NFL saw coal.
Colston arrived in New Orleans as a seventh-round pick out of Hofstra, seemingly an afterthought at the end of a draft headlined by Reggie Bush.
But the man the Saints would end up calling “The Quiet Storm” ended up becoming the legend. Brilliant from the start, Colston ripped off six 1,000-yard seasons in his first seven years, the only miss coming when a torn ligament in his thumb derailed the start of his third campaign.
A big, acrobatic receiver at 6-foot-4, Colston had an incredible catch radius and great hands, but his connection with Brees — and the ability to know where his quarterback saw holes in the defense — made Colston a devastating threat and one of the more underrated players of his era.
Read more at TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com.