Today in NFC South history

On this date in 2009, the New Orleans Saints released one of the most popular players in franchise history.

They parted ways with running back Deuce McAllister. Age and knee injuries caught up to McAllister and he was barely used in the 2008 season. The Saints moved on at running back with Pierre Thomas and, later, Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram and Chris Ivory.

But the release wasn’t the end of McAllister’s connection to the Saints and New Orleans, where he remains an iconic figure.

During the Super Bowl run in the 2009 season, the Saints re-signed McAllister. It was purely a symbolic gesture. But McAllister served as an honorary captain for the playoff game with Arizona and that helped fire up the Saints and their fans.

Fittingly, McAllister also received a Super Bowl ring.