The New Orleans Saints have announced that they will induct former LB Sam Mills into their Ring of Honor on Thursday night against the Dallas Cowboys.
The team's Ring of Honor was established in 2013. Mills is the seventh member of the organization to receive the honor. He joins late owner Tom Benson, late DE Will Smith, QB Archie Manning, K Morten Andersen, OT Willie Roaf, and LB Rickey Jackson. Andersen, Jackson, and Roaf are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Mills went undrafted by the NFL coming out of Montclair State. He joined the expansion USFL, where he starred for the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars from 1983 to 1985. After that league folded, he signed with the Saints in 1986.
Mills starred for the Saints, going down in franchise history as one of its best players. Mills, Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling, and Vaughan Johnson formed the ‘‘Dome Patrol’’, ushering in the first golden era of New Orleans football.
A semi-finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame again this year, Mills passed away from intestinal cancer in 2005. He played nine seasons in New Orleans, playing a pivotal role on four playoff teams.
During his time with the Saints, Mills made four Pro Bowls, intercepted 4 passes, forced or recovered 33 fumbles, had 10.5 sacks, and compiled seven seasons with at least 90 tackles.
He joined the expansion Carolina Panthers after leaving New Orleans in 1995, where he played three more standout seasons. He became an assistant coach with the Panthers after his retirement in 1999, where he served until his death in 2005.
Mills was elected into both the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers Hall of Fame in 1998.