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League officials descend on the Crescent City for annual meetings

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

As the NFLPA* continues with their annual meetings in Marco Island, Florida, the NFL annual meetings launch today in New Orleans.

Saints owner Tom Benson is hosting the meetings, and he recently spoke to the New Orleans Times-Picayune regarding various issues relating to his team and the current labor dispute.

For starters, Benson won’t be laying anyone off or taking away anyone’s salary during the lockout.  “This is pretty much business as usual for us,” Benson said. “I don’t want our employees to feel sorry for themselves during this period of time. So we’re not laying anybody off, and we’re not cutting anybody’s pay.”

Benson echoed the views of most owners regarding the decision of the NFLPA* to decertify and sue.

“Nobody wins in the courtroom, as far as I’m concerned,” Benson said. “We’ve got to just sit down and work this out together and what’s good for this game and the future of this game. If it costs so much to do business, then you’ve got to raise prices more. We’ve got to stabilize this thing across the board, and you’ve got to hold your costs someplace.  And this is what we’re trying to do.”

But Benson has no hard feelings against one of the leaders of the courtroom effort — who happens to also be Benson’s franchise quarterback.  “With regard to Drew [Brees], I have tremendous respect for Drew and just like everything he does he does passionately,” Benson said.  “Like he performs on the field is like how he performs as a member of the executive board of the union.  But at the end of the day, no player or owner or coach or [G.M.] is above our league and the history of our league.   That is why I am confident he will be back playing football for our fans.”

And, in Benson’s view, the Saints and Brees will be playing very, very well.

“We’re going to win the Super Bowl next year,” Benson said.

Hopefully, he’ll have a chance to be proven right — or wrong.

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10 Responses to “League officials descend on the Crescent City for annual meetings”
  1. 2009kenny says: Mar 20, 2011 7:55 AM

    Surely, there must be a way to let the owners know how we, the fans feel

  2. 2009kenny says: Mar 20, 2011 8:02 AM

    Kind of hard to fault them right now as they have been insisting they are ready to negotiate. Even the mediator said he would be willing to return if both sides asked him too. It now is clear why he said there were some fundamental disagreements. I guess at least one of the sides if not both wanted to tweet out their grievances to the public. Now that it is clear no one is winning that, they might a well go back to the table or shut up till the court date

  3. Magic blueberry says: Mar 20, 2011 9:20 AM

    Completely open your books to show your rising costs and players will be fine with you taking more off the top. Then this stupid lockout can be settled.

  4. FinFan68 says: Mar 20, 2011 9:42 AM

    “I don’t want our employees to feel sorry for themselves during this period of time. So we’re not laying anybody off, and we’re not cutting anybody’s pay.”

    That’s crap. He doesn’t want his employees to feel sorry for themselves…how about saying something closer to “our employees are important and I don’t want them to go through undue hardship” or something like that…you would sound less like a jackass.

    “If it costs so much to do business, then you’ve got to raise prices more. We’ve got to stabilize this thing across the board, and you’ve got to hold your costs someplace. And this is what we’re trying to do.”

    Union supporters, did you see that? Don’t complain about higher prices while supporting the players’ attempt to retain a cushy deal. Increased costs almost always get transferred to the consumers…that would be you and me.

    The owners should not get everything they want but they should be able to make adjustments to keep costs under control…if they were truly “partners” the players would be more receptive to long-term sustainability

  5. annnann says: Mar 20, 2011 9:56 AM

    Ok, so now both sides stop sending e-mails and letters saying you WANT to talk, sit down and actually DO it!!

  6. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Mar 20, 2011 10:46 AM

    I can’t wait for the NFLPA* to issue a statement explaining that players being paid more has no relationship to ticket prices.

  7. jc1958cool says: Mar 20, 2011 10:47 AM

    and in my view this is colusion! players can’t do anything but the owners can have business as usual!!! i hope the players stick to the owners right up their ___ !!!

  8. freedomispopular says: Mar 20, 2011 2:01 PM

    When Rex Ryan says his team is going to win the Super Bowl, everyone has a cow, but when Tom Benson says it, there’s not a peep.

  9. humptyfratz says: Mar 20, 2011 2:46 PM

    That’s because, unlike the Jets, the Saints have actually WON something within the last 30 years. That makes Tom Benson more believable…

  10. Deb says: Mar 20, 2011 4:07 PM

    @palinforpresidentofnorthkorea …

    Honey, if the owners succeed in getting that extra billion skimmed off the top before revenues are divided, you just hold your breath until they turn that savings into reductions on ticket prices. I can’t wait to read about the NFL fan who turned blue. :lol:

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