Based on reports emerging after the bounty mess first arose but before Wednesday’s unprecedented sanctions, Saints owner Tom Benson supports coach Sean Payton and G.M. Mickey Loomis. But if Benson ultimately chooses to make a change at either job, it wouldn’t be the first time an owner or a G.M. or a head coach said one thing and then did another.
Heck, it wouldn’t be the first time this week. Or even the second.
While trying to project the manner in which this mess will unfold in 2012, it occurred to me that there’s a set of facts that could indeed result in both Payton and Loomis being fired, eventually. As explained during Thursday’s PFT Live, the bad news for them ultimately could come from what otherwise would be good news for the Saints.
In short, if the team finds a way to achieve a high degree of success in 2012 under the weight of the penalties the league has imposed, Benson could decide that he should remove his inexplicable loyalty and trust from Loomis and Payton and invest those attributes in those directly responsible for the team’s performance during the upcoming season.
Given that Loomis will continue to steer the ship throughout the offseason, this reality could, in a roundabout way, make him less likely to try to get quarterback Drew Brees signed to a long-term deal. If, after all, Brees holds out and misses the offseason program and training camp and the preseason and isn’t prepared for the start of the regular season, the chances that the Saints will put together the kind of memorable year that could get make Benson forget Loomis and Payton would drop considerably.
But I’m already writing too much. I’ll defer the rest of my comments to the comments I made earlier in the day, on PFT Live.