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Report: Loomis, Payton have Tom Benson’s full support

Tom Benson, Gayle Benson AP

We haven’t heard any public statements from Saints general manager Mickey Loomis or coach Sean Payton after Friday’s revelation about the NFL’s investigation into the team’s bounty program, but signs continue to be strong that they have the support of owner Tom Benson.

Jay Glazer tweeted as much over the weekend and now there’s an Associated Press report quoting a Saints official that reiterates that position. Benson is described as being “110 percent” behind the two men and wants them focused only on the upcoming season.

“The bond between Sean and Mickey and Mr. Benson could not be stronger,” the team official said.

The loyalty to Loomis is a bit surprising because the league’s report accuses Loomis of disregarding Benson’s directive to put an end to the bounty program. As Florio pointed out Saturday, this isn’t the first time that Loomis’ honesty with the owner has been called into question. In the report, Payton was described as being aware of the program, but not directly involved in it, and did nothing to stop it, but there’s no evidence that he and Benson ever spoke about its existence.

Benson’s support of Loomis and Payton fits with the notion that the Saints are doing everything they can to distance themselves from former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Under this argument, Williams carried out the program without the head coach and general manager finding out because of the autonomy he was granted to run the defense. When the Saints found out the results of the league’s investigation, they let Williams leave for the Rams without making much attempt to keep him because they did not want to be associated with the bounty program.

Whether that stance gets them any softer discipline from the league remains to be seen, but, for now, it looks like there won’t be any big shakeup in New Orleans.

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26 Responses to “Report: Loomis, Payton have Tom Benson’s full support”
  1. youngs79 says: Mar 5, 2012 8:05 PM

    Of course they have his support, the cheaters won a Super Bowl for him.

  2. commandercornpone says: Mar 5, 2012 8:07 PM

    iow, they still have a year + on their contracts.

  3. snarkzilla says: Mar 5, 2012 8:09 PM

    They’re all crazy down there. First, they let a felon into the inner circle. The they let said felon provide cash to a prohibited bounty fund op that was an attempt to influence the outcome of games. If the FBI gets involved Benson could be forced to sell the team.

  4. iambadkid says: Mar 5, 2012 8:09 PM

    im so depressed, why did this happen this is going to mess up all of the home teams in the NFL if new orleans is charged for bountying, i hope they didnt find something bad out of new orleans this will really hurt the NFL if they did, bad bad bad bad, im depressed so depressed :(

  5. saints25 says: Mar 5, 2012 8:09 PM

    You cant always get what you want…..:-) They’ve done nothing wrong,wait an see.This all on GW

  6. hooterdawg says: Mar 5, 2012 8:10 PM

    How could Fisher not know about the investigation of Williams by the NFL? He is an insider on the Competition Committee. He wasn’t suspicious when the Saints told Williams to just leave?

  7. 6ball says: Mar 5, 2012 8:12 PM

    .

    Closing ranks ? Isn’t that known as the penn state defense?

    .

  8. lombardihero says: Mar 5, 2012 8:13 PM

    LOL:) omg:))) Which translate to if you do not say I knew anything you have my full support and your jobs:)lol.

    Keep washing each others backs boys.

  9. turtlehut says: Mar 5, 2012 8:37 PM

    Supposedly the Benson told Loomis to stop. Loomis said he did.

    When I was a manager with hire / fire authority I would immediately fire someone who lied to me – if you can not trust your direct reports you will fail.

    But if Loomis and probably Payton are not fired it is because they is taking the fall for Benson because the owner is lying about telling the Loomis to quit the bounties.

    But Benson, Loomis, Payton, et.al. all sport a Super Bowl Ring and that is worth more to them than their personal integrity.

    Pitiful!

  10. profootballwalk says: Mar 5, 2012 8:57 PM

    Can an owner be suspended?

  11. ascensionparish says: Mar 5, 2012 9:22 PM

    :embracethedarkside: All black uniforms. All season. Who Dat. Let the down thumbs begin.

  12. conormacleod says: Mar 5, 2012 9:50 PM

    So we are to believe that the d-coordinator orchestrated everything, AND the Head Coach and General Manager, and every other player on the team except the defense, didn’t know anything about it? Is that what I am supposed to swallow here? Is that what Roger Goodell is supposed to believe? Well, we’ll see how Tom Benson feels when he’s a couple million short in the wallet, his coaches are suspended, his GM is suspended, and his draft picks are taken away. Trying to fool Goodell is like lying to your father when you’re a child. The punishment for lying is always much, much worse than for falling on the sword and taking that punishment.

  13. vikefan says: Mar 5, 2012 9:53 PM

    may they all be banned from NFL together

  14. suckleague says: Mar 5, 2012 10:03 PM

    “Loomis, Payton have Tom Benson’s full support”.

    Just not Drew Brees, he’s only “very good” and not “great”

  15. nfl fan says: Mar 5, 2012 10:28 PM

    “Loomis, Payton have Tom Benson’s full support”.
    ————————————————
    Of course they do, the Saints were a disgrace until just a few years ago…

  16. jason1980 says: Mar 5, 2012 10:35 PM

    Alright, I’m just sick to my stomach with all of you Saints haters, get over it. The Saints are powerhouse, and you wannabe loser fans can just deal with it. The boys will demolish their opponents this season, because y’all have p***ed us off. Geaux Saints!!!!!

  17. nupicasso says: Mar 5, 2012 11:18 PM

    jason1980 says:
    Mar 5, 2012 10:35 PM
    Alright, I’m just sick to my stomach with all of you Saints haters, get over it. The Saints are powerhouse, and you wannabe loser fans can just deal with it. The boys will demolish their opponents this season, because y’all have p***ed us off. Geaux Saints!!!!!

     ——–
    You’re an idiot.

  18. nosaintsfan79 says: Mar 5, 2012 11:28 PM

    I’ve been a Saints fan my whole life and a season ticket holder the last 10 seasons. I must say this is the most embarrassed I have ever been of this team. I remember going to games when I knew we didn’t have a shot at wining, I went to see them play in 05 in Baton Rouge and in San Antonio in a 3-13 year. I don’t know what to think of them right now. If I were to put myself in Benson’s shoes I would have to let Payton and Loomis go. They would of giving me no choice. It’s far bigger then bounties its the covering up. This is the second scandal in 3 years where an owner was lied to. I understand that they won a super bowl and turn the franchise into a powerhouse, but I would have to trust the people who run my team. Their is no way I would trust Loomis or Payton ever again the damage is done. That being said I understand why he is keeping them its just something I wouldn’t do.

    As for my feelings of my team, this is a crossroads for the saints. With the way things are going with contracts and scandals and coaches suspensions, I really believe this is the beginning of the end of this run we’ve been on the last few seasons. It was bound to happen one day. I just didn’t think it would end like this. Its will interesting to see what happens to all of the “die hard saints fans” if they start loosing games.

  19. omniscient48 says: Mar 5, 2012 11:47 PM

    “the league’s report accuses Loomis of disregarding Benson’s directive to put an end to the bounty program.”

    1. Maybe Benson did not direct Loomis to end the bounty program, so it continued.

    2. Maybe Benson directed Loomis to end the bounty program, and he told Williams to end it, but Williams did not.

    3. Maybe Benson directed Loomis to end the bounty program, and he told Payton to tell Williams to end it, and Payton told Williams to end it, but Williams did not.

    4. Maybe Benson directed Loomis to end the bounty program, and he told Payton to tell Williams to end it, and Payton did not tell Williams to end it, so he did not.

    5. Maybe there is $10,000 still in the “pot” since the only knockout in the playoffs was Donte Whitner’s knockout of Pierre Thomas. Whitner asked for the bounty, but Williams refused.

    Point is we are all jumping to conclusions. I will wait to see the “evidence.”

  20. nosaintsfan79 says: Mar 6, 2012 12:05 AM

    PAY DREW BREES!!!!!

  21. ricksaints says: Mar 6, 2012 1:16 AM

    Benson will not fire the only coach that has brought that city a championship, he will also not fire a GM that can find a WR in the 7th round, an all pro guard in the 4th, an all pro TE in the 3rd, pick up a rb that breaks the record for all purpose yards. All u haters would be the same ones that would be drooling at the mouth to have ur teams hire either one of those two if they were available.

  22. saintsstillwillwin says: Mar 6, 2012 2:55 AM

    Bountygate is not Spygate. It did not give the Saints a leg up, any more than “remember me” hits give every team a leg up. The NFL is not measurably less fair for the bounty’s existence, nor does Vegas have cause to doubt its science. And yet, the league is going to come down hard on Williams, and on the Saints, much harder than they did on the Patriots. Part of that is how damaging to “competitive integrity” Spygate actually was, and wanting to put it out of mind as soon as possible. (Remember how quickly the league destroyed the videotapes?) The rest is good old-fashioned public relations. Goodell has an example to show how proactive the league is on player safety, and he’s more than willing to let the media worry the bone of a scandal that isn’t particularly scandalous.

  23. cmarsh64 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:21 AM

    The only way to send a message is to fine Benson the maxium allowed by the NFL and Suspend Williams,Loomis and Peyton at least 8 games and lose draft picks in the 2012,2013 and 2014 3 years for breaking the rules and lying to Goodell when ask about any other bounty programs.Draft picks are the key as they are a teams life blood.In 2012 draft lose both 1st and 2nd rd picks,2013 2nd and 3rd and 2014 2nd and 4th. This will send the message loud and clear. This is even more serious than Spy Gate because your paying players to injury another player with either a legal hit or illegal hit and thats a bad message to send. Revised: Williams should be suspended for 3 years 1 for each year her ran the bounty pool.

  24. dprouse says: Mar 6, 2012 7:10 AM

    Benson had better get used to supporting another Head Coach for at least half a season. I can’t see any way that Payton gets less than eight games for this. Williams will get a full season, and the Saints organization is going to face heavy fines and the loss of a first round pick. People can debate all day if that is right or wrong, but you know full well that Goddell is going to bring the hammer down on the Saints hard. You can’t preach about player safety and then look the other way on this. This was the wrong time to be on the wrong side of that issue.

    The Saints are like that kid at school who got caught shooting spitballs – they weren’t the only ones doing it, but they made the mistake of getting caught, and now the Principal is about to make an example of them for the whole school.

  25. gimmeabruschi says: Mar 6, 2012 7:20 AM

    “the league’s report accuses Loomis of disregarding Benson’s directive to put an end to the bounty program”

    The owner found out about rules violations and merely told them to stop rather than informing the league”? That seems to make him culpable in this matter as well.

  26. jfdane says: Mar 6, 2012 10:42 AM

    Its all about the money. They make Benson more money than ever. Car salesman at heart, he just wants the money. And I don’t blame him. I don’t think its wrong what they did. Against the rules, yes, but wrong? NO

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