Best Saints By The Numbers: #5
All summer long, we’re going to list the best players in New Orleans Saints history to wear every number, 00-99.
The pick: Garrett Hartley
When picking the best Saints player ever to wear #5, the choice is limited to quarterbacks Heath Shuler and Adrian McPherson, and kickers Florian Kempf, Taylor Mehlhaff, and Garrett Hartley.
Kicker or not, Hartley helped the franchise win a Super Bowl, so he has to be the pick, especially considering the alternatives.
Who else are you going to pick...Shuler?
He may have been a starting quarterback, but Shuler played only one year for the Saints, throwing only two touchdowns, while being intercepted 14 times.
Again, the fairly obvious selection here is Hartley.
After finishing his collegiate career at Oklahoma, Hartley signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted in 1998, before being cut, and later signed by the Saints in October of that year.
Hartley proved to be a great acquisition for the Saints, converting on all 13 of his field goals, including four from beyond 40 yards.
The Keller, Texas native suffered a setback prior to the 2009 season, given a 4-game suspension after testing positive for a banned stimulant, Adderall.
Hartley came back after his suspension to connect on his first three field goals, giving him 16 consecutive made field goals to begin his NFL career, which was an NFL record at the time.
The postseason proved to be kind to Hartley, as he made a 40-yard field goal in overtime against the Minnesota Vikings in the 2009 NFC Championship game to send the New Orleans Saints to their first Super Bowl, before going 3-for-3, including field goals of 46, 44, and 47 yards, becoming the first kicker in Super Bowl history to convert three field goals of 40 yards or more, in the Saints' Super Bowl win over the Indianapolis Colts.
After an inconsistent 2010 season, Hartley missed all of 2011 with a hip injury, before returning in 2012, hitting 18-of-22 attempts.
Hartley was released late in the 2013 season by the Saints, before kicking two games for the Cleveland Browns in 2014.
In six seasons with the Saints, Hartley hit 82-of-101 field goal attempts, and made good on all but one of his 177 PAT's.
In seven NFL seasons, Hartley was successful on 85-of-104 field goal attempts, and 178-of-179 PAT's.