Originally posted on The Saints Nation  |  Last updated 3/23/12
I have to admit, while I was completely prepared for Tracy Porter to leave, this one leaves me a bit sad based on history. Forget everything else he's ever done in a Saints uniform, if you just retain his interceptions of Brett Favre and Peyton Manning in 2009, you have two of the biggest plays in franchise history. His interception in the NFC Championship game helped the Saints survive a game winning drive during a tied game, and his pick six in the Super Bowl sealed the outcome. Without Tracy Porter, the Saints don't have a Lombardi Trophy to celebrate, it's really that simple.

But Porter was never really able to live up to the huge plays he made down the stretch of 2009. That's partly why he struggled to break the starting lineup in 2011, and it's partly why he struggled to command much interested on the open market of free agency. In the end, he gets just a one year deal from the Broncos worth $4 million. So now, in the ultimate twists of fate, he's teammates with Peyton Manning. This one was fully expected for a number of reasons. Things didn't seem rosy as the season ended between Porter and the Saints as Porter posted some vague but discouraging tweets after his exit interview. It made it clear the Saints were prepared to move on. That, plus the draft investments in Patrick Robinson and Johnny Patrick in recent years. Lastly, Porter has struggled to stay healthy and durability has been an issue throughout his career. That's most likely in large part why he was only able to get a 1 year deal. The Saints should be fine at this position based on the depth they had ahead of Porter. Greer and Robinson are clearly the starters, so now we just have to hope Patrick is ready to step in and contribute.

Porter will be missed, though, if nothing else than for the massive plays he made at the most critical of times. Here's a quick trip down memory lane:

Best of luck to you #22!

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