The Miami Dolphins have not been a model franchise for stability. The organization has cycled through 13 different starting quarterbacks since 2006, a far cry from the Dan Marino glory years.
Yet it did not have to be that way.
After the 2005 season, Drew Brees decided to test free agency despite tearing his shoulder that year with the then-San Diego Chargers.
The Dolphins were among those teams interested, but a deal never came to fruition.
Miami team doctors were not confident in Brees’ shoulder, and decided to trade for Daunte Culpepper — who was curiously enough coming off a knee injury at the time. Brees, meanwhile, signed was signed by the New Orleans Saints.
Of course, Culpepper played in just four games with the Dolphins that season. He was benched after starting the season 1-3 and was also battling a shoulder injury of his own. The Dolphins traded Culpepper the next summer for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green.
If the Dolphins had opted for Brees instead, it could have changed the entire NFL and college football landscape of the last 15 years.
In an alternate universe with Brees in Miami, the New England Patriots have a rival team competing with them in the AFC East each year. The Dolphins win at least one Super Bowl while the Saints never reach that goal.
With Brees as his quarterback, Nick Saban stays in Miami and never takes the Alabama head coaching job, meaning Alabama does not win another five additional titles without him.
If not for the Dolphins’ team doctors, the Patriots and Alabama dynasties may never happen, and the Dolphins are a perennial Super Bowl contender.