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Benson spends on losing, Saints have largest payroll in NFL

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; http://www.nola.com/saints/t-p/index...6898205770.xml Hard to call Benson cheap now. Spending doesn't seem to make winners either, top two on the money list are in the bottom of the standings, Hmmmmm brains not bucks wins the day. Benson not rewarded for opening vault ...

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Old 12-14-2003, 12:31 PM   #1
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Benson spends on losing, Saints have largest payroll in NFL

http://www.nola.com/saints/t-p/index...6898205770.xml

Hard to call Benson cheap now. Spending doesn't seem to make winners either, top two on the money list are in the bottom of the standings, Hmmmmm brains not bucks wins the day.


Benson not rewarded for opening vault
Sunday December 14, 2003
Jeff Duncan

Tom Benson has spent more money on talent in the past two years than at any other time in his 19 seasons as owner of the Saints.

In fact, he spent more this season than any other owner in the NFL.


Benson's free spending is reflected in a recent analysis of 2003 NFL salaries conducted by the NFL Players Association.

In that study, the Saints showed the largest payroll in the NFL at $83.9 million. That number reflects the amount spent by the club on base salaries and signing bonuses. The Washington Redskins were second at $81.9. The Cleveland Browns spent the least, with a payroll of $53.5 million.

It might surprise some to see Benson's team ahead of deep-pocketed Daniel Snyder's Redskins or the defending Super Bowl-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It shouldn't.

The Saints were destined to unload the vault when they chose to overhaul the roster after the 2001 season. Over the next two seasons, they chose to trade or not re-sign high-priced veterans Ricky Williams, Willie Roaf, Kyle Turley, La'Roi Glover, Joe Johnson, Keith Mitchell and Sammy Knight.

Those moves left the Saints with $12 million under the salary cap last season and a surplus of draft picks. They took advantage by signing, trading and drafting for an unprecedented array of talent, adding 13 players through the draft, 11 via free agency and three others by trade.

The talent windfall required cash. Lots of it. And most of it came due this year.

That's the main reason Benson shelled out $47.3 million in signing bonuses this season, the second-highest total in the league behind Washington's $54.1 million.

The largest chunk went to rookie Johnathan Sullivan, who received $7.4 million of his $11.4 million bonus up front.

The Saints spent more than $10 million on signing bonuses for free agents Wayne Gandy ($5 million), Ernie Conwell ($2.1 million), Ashley Ambrose ($1.5 million), John Carney ($500,000), Willie Whitehead ($500,000), Mitch Berger ($450,000) and Orlando Ruff ($375,000). They also paid Tebucky Jones $5 million when they renegotiated and extended his contract after trading for him in April.

The club also owed several players the second installment of the two-tiered bonuses they received in 2002. Quarterback Aaron Brooks received a $5.75 million option bonus. Wide receiver Donté Stallworth and defensive end Charles Grant, the team's first-round picks in the 2002 draft, received option payments of $2.97 million and $1.65 million, respectively. Jerome Pathon ($2.5 million) and Dale Carter ($1.5 million) also received substantial paydays.

"It's an anomaly," Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said. "It changes from year to year based on the structure of your team's salaries. We just had a lot of major deals in one year."

Saints senior football administrator Russ Ball said the Saints' ranking can also be attributed to an unusually low year of spending around the league.

"We were in the bottom quartile of the league in 2002, and we should be just below the middle next season," Ball said.

Don't expect another lofty ranking by the Saints for a while.

Considering how little return Benson has received on his investment from the 6-7 Saints this season, his pockets aren't apt to be as deep next year.

If the record doesn't improve soon, the only millions Benson is likely to dole out will be the cash needed to pay off his coaches' contracts.

Jeff Duncan can be reached at jduncan@timespicayune.com or (504) 826-3405.



[Edited on 12/14/2003 by saint5221]
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Old 12-15-2003, 11:04 PM   #2
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Benson spends on losing, Saints have largest payroll in NFL

This got lost in the post game shuffle. Thought I\'d bump it back up because it\'s pretty suprising.
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Old 12-17-2003, 11:58 AM   #3
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Benson spends on losing, Saints have largest payroll in NFL

Ill start by saying that I am happy with the Saints spending habits, but

The number is inflated due to Sullivan\'s large signing bonus as well as Brooks\' signing bonus. Total payroll is a stat that changes tremendously every year, and I believe Arizona is near the top of the list this year as well. Our payroll will probably be near the bottom of the league next year unless the team makes a push for another early first round pick.
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Old 12-17-2003, 12:18 PM   #4
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Benson spends on losing, Saints have largest payroll in NFL

I\'m not a capoligist, but it appears we wil have some cap room to sign a couple of top-tier free agents. I don\'t know if Tom Benson is willing to spend the kind of money it would take to get a Fred Smoot and a top linebacker, but I think if we can finish out the season strong, he might be more inclined to spend the money and get the final pieces of the puzzle. If we don\'t finish out the season on a positve note, maybe Benson won\'t be motivated to sign any of the top free agents.

Of course, I don\'t know what Tom Benson is thinking and this organiaztion might not believe in paying out big money for free agents. That\'s certainly been the trend the past few years. I hope that changes. We need impact players at certain positions that can step in and make a difference NOW!!
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Old 12-17-2003, 02:51 PM   #5
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Benson spends on losing, Saints have largest payroll in NFL

You HAVE to sign at least one big name Free Agent.
But remember, Haslett and Loomis have repeatedly said they want to build this team through the Draft.
It\'s looking good so far, but one FA llike a Smoot or TO, tips the scales.
Please Mr. Benson don\'t quit now... You wouldn\'t want your players to up and quit after two seasons of treading water. They\'re in for a step up...
At least I hope
Oh yeah and it is my money too. Just went to a game. I live in CO. Bought at least $250 in merchandise between my 5 person party. Combine that with the sell out streak. NFL inter-team revenue. Mr. Benson isn\'t losing any money folks.
And I hope he remebers, \"you can\'t take it with you.\"

The weather is always 72 degrees and perfect, in the Dome
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Old 12-17-2003, 03:10 PM   #6
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Benson spends on losing, Saints have largest payroll in NFL

I read Monday where Champ Bailey doesn\'t want to resign with Washington.
And Lavar Arrington rejected their offer.
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