Mired in one of the rockiest offseasons that any team ever has endured, the Saints are still going about their normal business.
Their normal business includes adding new members to the team’s Hall of Fame. On Friday, the Saints announced that owner Tom Benson and running back Deuce McAllister will be receiving the honor.
The decision was made by the Hall of Fame’s media selection committee.
Benson has owned the team since 1985. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he renewed his commitment to the region (even though some would say he did so involuntarily), culminating four years later in a Super Bowl win.
McAllister, a first-round pick in 2001, spent eight full seasons with the team, and he is the franchise’s all-time rushing leader, with 6,096 yards. He also is the franchise’s all-time leader in total touchdowns (55) and rushing touchdowns (also 55).
The Saints Hall of Fame also has voted to honor former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason by creating a “legacy gallery” in Gleason’s name at the museum. Gleason, who set the tone for the team’s return to the Superdome in 2006 by blocking a punt that was recovered for a touchdown, is battling ALS.
Though the NFL has hammered the franchise for the pay-for-performance/bounty program, the league has emphasized that Benson had no knowledge of it. While some have speculated that others in the organization are covering for Benson, he has a reputation for being a hand’s-off owner, who entrusts the football operations to his employees.