Top 5 New Orleans Saints Safties Of All-Time
Who are the top 5 safties in the history of the New Orleans Saints?
Yesterday, we unveiled the five best cornerbacks in franchise history.
Today, we stay on the defensive side of the ball.
1)---TOMMY MYERS---One of the first inductees into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame, Myers played 10 years for the Saints, from 1972-1981. The Saints chose him with the 74th pick of the 3rd round in the 1972 NFL Draft. He quickly became a fixture for the defense, going on to play in 136 games, while starting 120. In his ten seasons, Myers compiled 36 interceptions, which ranks second in franchise history, returning two for touchdowns, while recovering 15 fumbles, of which he returned two for scores. His best season was 1979, when he was also named to the Pro Bowl, as well as being named All-Pro, becoming the first player in team history to be named first team All-Pro. Myers played for the Saints, and only the Saints, during his 10-year NFL career, retiring after the 1981 season.
2)---SAMMY KNIGHT---A member of the franchise Hall of Fame, Knight was a member of the Saints for six seasons, from 1997-2002. After finishing his college career at USC, where he was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection in 1996, Knight signed as an undrafted free agent with the Saints following the 1997 NFL Draft. A native of Fontana, California, Knight started 12 games as a rookie, intercepting five passes, before remaining a starting safety over his six years with the franchise. A 2001 Pro Bowler, Knight accumulated 28 interceptions as a Saint, ranking him third in franchise history in that category. During his time with the Saints, Knight registered five forced fumbles and ten fumble recoveries as well.
3)---GENE ATKINS---He played with the Saints for seven seasons, from 1987-1993. After finishing his college career at Florida A&M, Atkins was selected by the Saints in the seventh round of the 1987 NFL Draft. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Atkins started eight games over his first two seasons, before becoming a full-time starting safety in 1989. In seven seasons with the Saints, covering 107 games, Atkins accumulated 21 interceptions, which ranks fourth in franchise history, to go along with 11 forced fumbles, and 13 fumble recoveries. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Atkins left the Saints following the 1993 season and signed with the Miami Dolphins, where he played for three seasons, before retiring following the 1996 season. Atkins, in 10 NFL seasons, compiled 25 interceptions, 15 forced fumbles, and 14 fumble recoveries.
4)---ROMAN HARPER---He played nine years for the Saints, from 2006-2013, and then again in 2016. After concluding his college career at Alabama, Harper was selected by the Saints in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. A starting safety for seven of his nine seasons with the franchise, Harper 529 tackles, along with 17 sacks and 7 interceptions. A 6-foot, 195-pounder, Harper earned Pro Bowl honors twice while a member of the Saints, in 2009 and 2010.
5)---FRANK WATTELET---He played seven years for the Saints, from 1981-1987. After playing his college football at Kansas, Wattelet signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent following the 1981 NFL Draft. A native of Paola, Kansas, Wattelet played mostly on special teams as a rookie, before becoming a full-time starter at safety from 1982-1986. After leaving the Saints during the 1987 season, Wattelet one-and-a-half season for the Los Angles Rams, before retiring following the 1988 season. In 91 games with the Saints, Wattelet accumulated 12 interceptions, including one for a touchdown.