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Benson, Brees remained confident of Payton deal

Sean Payton, Gregory Aymond, Tom Benson AP

New Orleans NFL and NBA owner Tom Benson sat in his courtside seats for Friday night’s Hornets game, joined by the Archbishop of New Orleans, and eventually, the head Saint.

Before the game ended, Sean Payton joined his boss after agreeing in principle to a new deal with the Saints.

Terms of the contract weren’t revealed, but Benson joked that it was wrapped up long ago, and that he was never concerned about losing him.

“He’s always been our head coach,” Benson said, via Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I never had any doubt about that. . . .

“He’s going to have an extension on it, so that’s going to be a little bit better. … Sean and I, I was the only one he could talk to and he and I talked once a week.”

“We worked a long time on it and everything worked out, and I’ll leave it at that,” Payton said after the game. “And we’ll leave it at that.”

There are still significant questions to be answered about the timeline (his one-year suspension ends after the Super Bowl), but the Saints can at least go into the offseason assured their leader will be back.

While the league-imposed suspension lasts another calendar month, getting Payton under contract prior to the end of the season carried a symbolic weight.

As teams begin firing coaches Monday, having a potential free agent dangling would have been a blow to a team that suffered through a disappointing season and needs significant work.

But they’ve also been through similar down-to-the-wire negotiations, such as this summer’s with quarterback Drew Brees.

Maybe that’s why Brees was so confident.

“Very happy that it is official,” Brees told Holder via text. “Never had any doubts though.”

We found out this year how much Payton meant to the Saints, and we’ll find out over the course of the next year whether he’s worth the money they paid, which was expected to make him the highest-paid coach in the league.

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19 Responses to “Benson, Brees remained confident of Payton deal”
  1. fuglyflorio says: Dec 29, 2012 9:21 AM

    Other teams wanted him … but they just weren’t dirty enough.

  2. insidej0b says: Dec 29, 2012 9:40 AM

    Payton said the day his contract was announced voided that he would absolutely be a Saint for the foreseeable future. The only people saying otherwise were BSPN and other media outlets looking for clicks. Always pure conjecture and speculation, never with an actual source.

  3. dangernearing says: Dec 29, 2012 9:40 AM

    Overpaid and overrated! Just like the guy whom trees he branched off. *cough *cough Parcells

  4. kattykathy says: Dec 29, 2012 9:43 AM

    Saints 5
    Roger Goodell 0

  5. Dave61548 says: Dec 29, 2012 9:46 AM

    Most every other NFL team would be happy to have Payton as HC. The Saints had a pay for performance program just like the other 31 teams but few have a comparable offense.

  6. kattykathy says: Dec 29, 2012 9:46 AM

    Somewhere, Roger Goodell is cussing.
    Somewhere fans everywhere are laughing at Goodell.
    Somewhere Drew Brees has gotten his explanation.
    Somewhere Vilma is flipping off Goodell.
    Somewhere Judge Berrigan is with pen and paper, figuring out how much to award Vilma

  7. kattykathy says: Dec 29, 2012 9:50 AM

    Look at the photo……..Sure looks like ol man Benson and his cronie are laughing at the Roger Goodell joke Sean just told them.

  8. rockthered1286 says: Dec 29, 2012 10:28 AM

    Cannot wait until 2013 kicks off, the saints D is still terrible, the offense continues to sputter, they finish 3rd in their division, and there are NO MORE EXCUSES.

  9. legeisyaj says: Dec 29, 2012 10:29 AM

    I certainly hope payton is NOT the highest paid coach in the league. He is NOT the best coach. Top 5 maybe. Both he and Bree’s are a bit over-rated, but yes top 5.

  10. kattykathy says: Dec 29, 2012 10:50 AM

    legeisyaj says: Dec 29, 2012 10:29 AM

    I certainly hope payton is NOT the highest paid coach in the league. He is NOT the best coach. Top 5 maybe. Both he and Bree’s are a bit over-rated, but yes top 5.

    **************************************

    I am pretty sure you are NOT the leagues resident expert on coach ranking. I am also pretty sure that everybody does NOT care about your “expert” analysis

  11. jimmywalker78 says: Dec 29, 2012 10:53 AM

    kattykathy says:
    Dec 29, 2012 9:50 AM
    Look at the photo……..Sure looks like ol man Benson and his cronie are laughing at the Roger Goodell joke Sean just told them.

    Cronie?? That’s the Archbishop, Einstein!

  12. rayala3 says: Dec 29, 2012 11:06 AM

    He was never going anywhere else…

  13. doubleogator says: Dec 29, 2012 11:19 AM

    Good chance the Saints will finish 8-8. Not too many teams could play 500 ball under the conditions they did. No head coach, no interim coach first 6 weeks, and no GM first 8 weeks. Negative press, Brees contract holdout and tough schedule. watch out NFL in 2013, they’re back, whether you all like them or not!

  14. CKL says: Dec 29, 2012 11:25 AM

    A great HC is worth 3-5 wins easy. Even with that struggling defense, had they had Payton, they are most definitely in the playoffs this year. I didn’t ever think he’d leave NO though.
    Vitt might get another look as a HC though if he so desires. I think he did a pretty good job in his two interim gigs.

  15. usmutts says: Dec 29, 2012 11:26 AM

    Who-Dats in NOLA will roam
    With Vilma and Brees in the Dome
    And Berrigan’s rule
    That Roger’s a fool
    Cause Payton is coming back home.

  16. mazblast says: Dec 29, 2012 12:13 PM

    Right now, somewhere (probably sitting at John Mara’s feet), The Great Roger Goodell Himself Live And In Person is having a hissy-fit, trying to think of new ways to fine people and revenge himself on the Saints for what he thinsk THEY have done to Him.

  17. Gordon says: Dec 29, 2012 12:34 PM

    A priest, an owner & a coach walk into a bar…

  18. uglynora says: Dec 29, 2012 1:22 PM

    Next year is going to be a blast. I can’t wait to see roger Goodell start fining the Saints for having a 42 point margin of victory after the first 8 games. He’ll then threaten to vacate wins if they continue to run up the score on their opponents. It’s going to be magical and Sean Payton is going to make Roger Goodell wear this crap like a necktie. Vengeance is best served inside a dome stadium. WhoDat!

  19. cometkazie says: Dec 29, 2012 2:56 PM

    Just look at the Saints haters and consider the source.

    ‘Nuff said.

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