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saintz08 09-21-2005 07:57 PM


Amid reports that the NFL plans to consider Baton Rouge as the 2006 "home" for the New Orleans Saints, a league source tells us that the team's short term move north to the LSU campus is already a "done deal."

Though owner Tom Benson initially intended to use the damage from Hurricane Katrina as a pretext to move the franchise out of Louisiana, the league successfully has persuaded him to abandon plans to try to finagle a permanent move to San Antonio or Los Angeles. The league office, we hear, doesn't think very highly of Benson, and the league has no desire to see Benson owning a team in the lucrative L.A. market.

So all is not peaches and cream between the Saints and the league office. To complicate matters, the Saints believe that the NFL should be doing something/anything to help players who are faced with paying for living arrangements in San Antonio while at the same time making mortgage payments on property owned in and around New Orleans.

The league has raised plenty of money for displaced Gulf Coast residents, but it has done nothing at all for the guys who play football for the New Orleans franchise. Benson would like to do more for the players himself, but he faces the reality of such payments or other benefits counting against the team's salary cap.

With all of the extra money that Benson undoubtedly will earn by playing home games before big crowds in New York, San Antonio, and Baton Rouge this year, it's not a question of whether the money is there. At a minimum, the league should allow Benson to help out his players without incurring cap charges.


In response to our Tuesday night story regarding the tension that currently exists between the NFL and Saints owner Tom Benson, a league source tells us that the hard feelings are rooted in the reality that more than a few owners would like to eject Benson from the Billionaire Boys Club.

"Many other owners can't stand Benson," the source said. "They don't think that he is good for the future of the NFL, and they just don't like him."

Since there is no quick and easy mechanism for forcing an owner out of the league, it's possible that the NFL's official stance regarding various current issues relating to the team are intended to gradually increase Benson's frustration level in the hopes that he eventually cashes in his chips.

The problem, though, is that if the NFL makes life so miserable for Benson that he wants out, the league will need to find a buyer who is willing to keep the team in New Orleans. The league, we're told, simply will not risk the public relations nightmare that would unfold if the Saints go marching out of the Bayou.

Tobias-Reiper 09-21-2005 09:26 PM

aahh.. profootballtalk, the National Enquirer of the NFL...

I don't want the Saints going anyway, but let's face facts here..
..the sad truth is, by this time next year, no one is going to care if the Saints move. Heck, I don't think many people outside of Saints fans would care if they were to move today: Packers fans will not stop being Packers fans because the Saints moved to LA, nor Patriots fans, etc... people just chalk it up to "it's a business, tough for them, but..."

The NFL is about making money... no further proof than the Saints-NY game is needed. The NFL didn't care much about how many people they pissed off when they decided to give the Giants an extra home game: The Redskins fans, the Eagles fans, the Cowboys fans... the organizations themselves didn't ***** about it too much, probably because the extra revenue from the extra prime-time game in the biggest TV market that is going to be split among everyone... and boy does the NFL looove to have them Giants in the playoffs...

saintz08 09-21-2005 10:07 PM

This could have a ton of bad P.R. connected to it .

We all saw how fast Tags jumped on the Ron Mexico incident , imagine :

The NFL , helping to build communities , until you run into some trouble and then we gone ......

This could open a huge black hole for the league if Benson uses Katrina to roll out of New Orleans .

saintz08 09-21-2005 11:34 PM

Report: NFL to discuss LSU as Saints home for ' news services

While the Superdome reportedly is not as badly damaged as once feared, the Saints might not be able to play there next year either.

As a result, the NFL is working on other options -- one being that the Saints could play their 2006 home schedule at LSU, the New York Daily News reported.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who plans on attending the Saints' "home" game at Baton Rouge on Oct. 30, plans to discuss Baton Rouge being a 2006 option with Saints owner Tom Benson and LSU officials, the Daily News reported.

When asked about the Saints' future Monday night, Tagliabue wasn't thinking beyond 2005, however.

"I haven't gotten beyond worrying about 2005," Tagliabue was quoted as saying in the Daily News. "Obviously the biggest issues in New Orleans now are the ones the president spoke about, which their elected leadership is beginning to discuss with their business community: How do they rebuild the city? What's the shape of the city? What kind of businesses do they want there? What kind of a population base do they want there?"

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