Long-time Saints long snapper Kevin Houser, whose body of exemplary work is best illustrated by the fact that few NFL fans had previously heard of him, suddenly lost his job earlier this week.
Rumors are flying that the Saints dumped Houser because of his role in recruiting teammates (and coach Sean Payton) to participate in a too-good-to-be-true tax-credit scheme in which the investment of money in a Louisiana film company would have resulted in a significant net gain via reduced state income taxes.
But the company didn’t qualify for the credits, and so the money — nearly $2 million — might be lost.
Though Houser isn’t claiming that he was cut in retaliation for jeopardizing $144,000 of Payton’s money, Houser seems to realize that the fungible nature of his position might have prompted the team to take action in order to ensure that Houser’s presence doesn’t create a distraction once the process of earning new money to replace the lost money begins.
“We’re . . . put out there to win a championship, ” Houser told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “And if
. . . maybe this could have caused a rift, and if there are any
underlying issues out there that people didn’t come out and say to me,
or that people did not have all the answers to the questions that they
had for one reason or another . . . listen, I understand.”
But Houser also defends his actions in connection with the failed investments.
“If anything, I feel like I was an ambassador for the state, ” Houser
said. “We were going to bring a bunch more money into the locker room
by utilizing a program that was helping the state, that was helping
(Damn. Houser sounds like a guy who’s ready to run for office.)
Houser also seems to realize that the chances of landing with another NFL team are slim.
“It would be a shame to know that God gave me a talent, and I didn’t use it for what I was meant to do, ” Houser said.
But there might be an opportunity to earn $25,000 for six weeks of long snapping in the UFL; after all, Houser’s first coach with the Saints — Jim Haslett — is one of the four head coaches in the brand-new league.