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THE TRUTH ON HASLETT

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; THE TRUTH ON HASLETT There are plenty of reports out there regarding the future of Saints coach Jim Haslett. And the stories we've seen lately are like flakes in a snowstorm -- plentiful, and no two are alike. One day, ...

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Old 12-19-2005, 01:35 PM   #1
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THE TRUTH ON HASLETT

THE TRUTH ON HASLETT

There are plenty of reports out there regarding the future of Saints coach Jim Haslett. And the stories we've seen lately are like flakes in a snowstorm -- plentiful, and no two are alike.

One day, the story is that Haslett plans to quit. Then the story is that he'll sit out the 2006 season. Then the story is that he wants a five-year extension and control over personnel. Then the story is that owner Tom Benson is going to fire Haslett.

So what's the truth? Read on.

Haslett is under contract for another season. He wants, we're told, security and certainty, not just for himself but for his staff of 17 assistants and their families.

And he wants to stay with the Saints if, and only if, Benson is willing to demonstrate a commitment to winning. That kind of a commitment is shown in many ways. Extending Haslett's contract will be a big part of it, since it's already going to be hard enough for the Saints to sign free agents in 2006 without a lame-duck head coach. In that circumstance, as one league insider tells us, the Saints will "only get the dregs" on the open market of available players.

Giving Haslett authority over personnel is also part of the equation, primarily since the current system hasn't worked. Ever since Randy Mueller abruptly was fired as G.M., a non-football guy (Mickey Loomis) has been running the show, and the team has not significantly upgraded its talent.

But there are other ways to show commitment without giving the coach an extension and/or more power. The assistant coaches need to be paid competitive salaries, and money needs to be devoted to luring quality players to town.

Despite reports that Benson basically has made up his mind to bounce Haslett, we're hearing that Benson actually wants Haslett to return in 2006. But Benson claims he doesn't have the money to extend Haslett's deal.

There are two flaws in this contention. First, an extension wouldn't require Benson to cough up any new money until 2007, since coaches don't get signing bonuses. Second, the new television deals kick in next year, and there should be plenty of cash on hand for Benson and his brethren to pay their employees fairly.

So could this one come down to a question of whether Haslett can force Benson to let him out from the final year of his contract? Possibly. Remember this -- Haslett was hired to coach the New Orleans Saints. If Benson ultimately tries to uproot the franchise and take it to San Antonio next season against the wishes of the NFL, Haslett can argue (persuasively, in our view) that a move to San Antonio under such circumstances would be a breach of Haslett's contract to coach in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Really, the last thing Benson needs if he wants to try to pull off a San Antone switcheroo is a head coach who's taking the position that the franchise shouldn't bolt from the Bayou.

http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm

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On another note, I\'ll take a bite of that crow 08. - Saintfan
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