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saintz08 01-02-2006 03:21 PM

Haslett won't return as Saints head coach
Haslett won't return as Saints head coach

The season of displacement has concluded with New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson deciding his franchise needed a replacement for head coach Jim Haslett.

After weeks of requesting that he be freed from his contract, a frustrated Haslett finally was dismissed by the Saints on Monday. The two sides essentially reached a mutual agreement that Haslett would not return for 2006, the final year of his contract.

It is believed a settlement was reached on the contract, which was to have paid Haslett in excess of $3 million. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Haslett could get a lump sum payment worth half of his annual salary (which is $3.3 million), depending on whether he gets another job.

Haslett, 50, is expected to be a highly sought candidate in an exploding market. More respected leaguewide than within some quarters of his own organization, Haslett likely will hear from multiple suitors as franchises begin the process of filling vacancies.

In six seasons, Haslett compiled a 46-52 record. He led the Saints to a division title in 2000, his first season with the team, but New Orleans only had one more winning year under his stewardship. The club collapsed this season, posting a 3-13 mark in a year marked by having to relocate to San Antonio because of Hurricane Katrina.

Haslett had indicated to a few weeks ago that it would be difficult for him to continue with the team in 2006. He denied reports that he had requested that Benson fire him, but it was obvious neither side wanted the relationship to continue.

Rumors swirled after the 2004 season, when the Saints finished 8-8, that Haslett would be fired. Not only did the team retain him, but Benson and general manager Mickey Loomis also announced plans to sign Haslett to a two-year contract extension. But the extension never came, even though the prospects of an add-on were briefly resuscitated when the club was forced to move to San Antonio, and it became increasingly clear as the season progressed that Haslett might move on.

A popular coach with his players, and viewed as a solid football man, Haslett nonetheless presided over a team that did not play up to its talent level during his tenure.

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TheDeuce 01-02-2006 03:31 PM

RE: Haslett won
SEE YA HASLETT. Good guy, good intensity.... bad playcalling, bad discipline, and pretty much a bad coach all around.

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