Benson tells owners he didn’t know about bounties


The first full day of the 2012 league meetings is in the books, and it included comments from the man at whose franchise Commissioner Roger Goodell threw the book last week.

Steve Wyche of NFL Network reports that Saints owner Tom Benson addressed his fellow owners about the bounty controversy, explaining that he didn’t know about the situation and stopping short of apologizing.

He was disheartened about the situation,” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay told Wyche.  “He was very supportive of his people.  His tone was great.”

But while the tone may have been great, it’s not so great to continue to blindly support men who, if the NFL’s conclusions are accurate, betrayed Benson’s trust in the worst way possible.  According to the league, G.M. Mickey Loomis lied to Benson and failed to put an end to the bounty program and Saints coach Sean Payton failed to manage his staff and encouraged lying by telling his assistants to “get your ducks in a row” before the NFL investigated the situation in 2010.

The disconnect between Benson’s support and the behavior the league believes occurred continues to invite speculation that Loomis and/or Payton have covered for Benson.  With Goodell explaining to the media on Monday that the lying has continued into the past several weeks, it’s hard not to wonder whether Benson actually knew about the bounties — and whether Loomis and Payton are taking the short-term fall in order to secure their long-term futures.

71 responses to “Benson tells owners he didn’t know about bounties

  1. It’s hard to keep track of bounties when your busy dancing around with that little umbrella all day

  2. A saints owner not knowing of this whatever endless he never goes into the lockerroom like jerry jones maybe but karma and voodoo will say who dat o`tay goodbye saints bring back the brown paper bags with eye holes in fact make that a give away for a saints game

  3. I”m so sick of billionaires saying they didn’t know. then how did you become a rich fat cat? by not knowing how to become one, or by doing w/e it took to become one.

  4. Funny, 31 owners say the same of their teams.

    Truth is 32 old rich white men pay some 2000+ athletes $100ks to $100Ms to knock the life out of one another. They don’t like it when the athletes start throwing THEIR OWN CASH around for THEIR OWN actions on the field.

  5. Saints got off easy for lying cheaters with a tainted championship… They should have lost at least 3 first round picks & 3 years of franchise tags, one for each year we have confirmation they intentionally cheated & lied.

  6. The most i’ve ever cared for Tom Benson is now. He’s never supported anyone he could step on until this fiasco. I’m encouraged by his loyalty.

  7. Tom didn’t know about the bounties. “I thought it was a charity of some kind. One time I even brought canned food for the collection on the table. Left an extra raincoat, too.”.

  8. Bounties this, bounties that, Tebow this, Tebow that, Manning that, Goodell sucks, and Goodell sucks.

    God I can’t wait till the draft/season starts…

  9. Not everyone is a micromanager. Payton didn’t bother with the defense. He’s focused on the offense. Telling someone get “ducks in a row” is like telling someone not to go off on a tangent like you do. He’s not telling them to lie.

  10. ignorance is bliss! This guy is so smart he wont get Drew Bress a new deal. Fat man prob cant tie his own shoe on his fat,fungus foot. He wont get in troble cause the nfl works for him.

  11. you should have substituted a picture of SGT Schultz. no one would have known the difference.

    “I know nothing”

    priceless just priceless.

    next thing we need is for Colonel Klink to buy the Dolphins.

  12. I can’t wait for the season to start, and watch the Saints beat the NFL into the ground. Y’all are in so much trouble, because the “SAINTS ARE COMING TO GET YA”

  13. Benson may well be clueless. He had no idea for months that ex-GM Randy Mueller, whom he ubruptly fired, paid off an impregnated Saints office staffer to not sue the daddy – Jim Haslett.

  14. .

    Mix one part arrogance with one part stupidity and serve on a bed of lies.

    No CEO in America would allow a subordinate to repeatedly lie about a matter of importance. They just quote Trump .


  15. So the League found that ownership had no knowledge of the bounties. Now it’s ok to question the NFL on their findings, but it’s ridiculous to question Goodell on the 50,000 pages he has yet to release to the public?

  16. There are times in life, when people are faced with the idea of what is RIGHT/WRONG. It is a basic human trait. Some people don’t know the difference, & that is a problem difficult to correct. Some know the difference but still don’t care anyway, & some don’t participate but look the other way. Either way, it is a slippery slope as Joe Paterno found out, & the sad part is he probably lay on his death bed with regrets. The best thing to do, is often the most difficult:) One could certainly suspect that Tom Benson knew all along, given the fact that he is the leader of that franchise.

  17. The owners are the “foxes guarding the henhouse” and they will protect each other to the extent that they can. Billionaires don’t become rich without knowing what’s going on in their businesses……..Benson knew and he isn’t fooling anyone with his “feigned ignorance”.

  18. The answer to why he supports them can stem from only one reason….

    He knew and supported the bounty program all along. Otherwise the old bulldog would have crap-canned both of the for violating his trust TE second he realized that he’d been lied to. He’s supporting them now simply because they are taking the fall for him and his classless organization.

    Now, where are the stories about Ornstein, the felon with the long criminal history related to sports gambling And bribery of officials, who the Saints, via Benson, gave a Super Bowl ring.

  19. Let’s see this from Benson’s perspective…before these men who supposedly “shamed” the organization came aboard, the saints had won 1 playoff game in their history. I find a team that prompted its fans to wear bags because the quality of the product was so poor to be much more shameful than Bountygate, and I’m sure Benson does too. So yes, I would expect Benson to stand by the men who created a perennial super bowl contender and the ever profitable who dat nation, hidden agenda or not.

  20. I agree with others (too lazy to check who) who say that Loomis is still employed because HE WAS NOT TOLD TO SHUT IT DOWN. Loomis is lying to protect the owner. That is why Loomis still has a job.

    Do you think Benson made all his money by having an insubordinate liar underling? And acting like he did not know?

    Come on… give Benson a little credit here. His actions are obvious. There is no mystery as to why Loomis still has a job.

  21. Yeah, Benson just thought Payton and Gregg Williams were talking about paper towels. You know, the quicker picker upper.

    Suffer Saints, suffer! It is soo much fun for us non-cheater/injurers. We love it!

  22. No owner is going to fire a coach as successful as Payton has been. It’s just like the players. The good ones that rape and pillage get a pass and the mediocre ones get cut…..

  23. “He was disheartened about the situation.”

    Oh Bullsh$&%,

    The General let the Lieutenant and Corporal take the fall.

    He couldn’t be that clueless…C’mon man!

  24. He didn’t know because THERE WERE NO STINKING BOUNTIES, people! Pay for Performance, yes. Against league rules, yes. Should they be fined, or forfeit draft picks as punishment, sure. But suspensions such as the ones Goodell imposed, no frickin’ way. All you fans of other teams out there should be shaking in your shoes. Why? Because if this idiot Commissioner we have has this much power, AND ANSWERS TO NOONE, then the same, or worse could happen to your team in the blink of an eye. This idiot Goodell is completely out of control, and if you think his “wrath” will stop with the Saints, then you are sorely mistaken. One of these days he is going to do something to your team, and then you will see how it feels to get screwed and dishonored. All that being said, the Saints will still be competetive this year, and show the NFL, and all the rest of you haters that you don’t mess our team the way you are!

  25. Williams is a coward and a creep. Payton is an arrogant sneak and an unprincipled liar. Benson, like most very rich people, has the money to buy his way out of problems. He is the personification of garbage.

  26. Pants on fire!

    He told them to stop the bounty that he knew nothing about only to be ignored by Williams and Payton and Loomis and Vitt. Is that what we are supposed to believe?

    I guess we know now why he hasn’t shown any anger at the perpetrators — because he’s a full conspirator himself.

  27. Mickey and Sean have jobs cause they gave Mr. Benson the opportunity to party with the Lombardi. Just bc Goodell is making a mountain of a pile of crap doesn’t mean the owner has to.

  28. saints25 says: Mar 26, 2012 9:00 PM

    whether Mikey an Peter King Goodell like it or not, Loomis and Payton will still have a JOB. nest year.LMMFAO


    And saint25 will still be a dolt…’nest’ year.

  29. I’ve followed the Saints for 25 years. Benson has never had a clue. That’s why they were losers for so long – he lets other people run the organization as they see fit. His “hands-off” philosophy finally paid off with Payton and crew with a Superbowl win, but it looks like that philosophy has also come back to haunt him.

  30. What if the owner did or didn’t know? It’s all water under the bridge at this point. If the owner did know should there be another draconian response from the Commissioner? Is Goodell going to stop Benson from owning the team?

    The person who posted this article is just trying to incite hard feelings to get people upset. The poster can speculate ad nauseum but that is not validation of stated position.

  31. Benson didn’t know. Geez, after the superbowl win, his handlers had to correct him everytime he referred to Brees as “Bobby Hebert”.

  32. Based on what he knows about the continuing program, lies, denials, and total disrespect to the NFL rules and directives by the GM and Coach, I think the Owner should really clean the FO and start over. It would help to start mending the fence and building respect for the franchize.

    The only reason not to make that move is that both are covering for the owner, who knew and/or lied as well.

  33. Right or wrong, Payton & Loomis have been very loyal in always protecting Mr. Benson that he knows nothing and Mr. Benson has been very loyal in protecting his star super bowl winning coach and general manager, just as he did with the vicodin thing. (or maybe that really was just a disgruntled person’s made up story since it never seemed to go anywhere.)

    Most importantly…do tell!

    Benson may well be clueless. He had no idea for months that ex-GM Randy Mueller, whom he ubruptly fired, paid off an impregnated Saints office staffer to not sue the daddy – Jim Haslett.

  34. To say that Goodell has too much power and answers to no one is ludicrous. Nothing comes out of his mouth that hasn’t been approved by the majority of the owners. Do you get it yet? Goodell is the mouthpiece for the League. The league just loves the idea that clueless people blame Goodell.

  35. As I have ready hundreds of comments on this saints scandel, I’ve come to the conclusion that its really not about this saints bounty issue with 95% of you trolls, its about pure HATRED for a franchise that for all of its existence has been in the dumps. You would think that people would applaud its success instead of destroy what it has achieved. Its amazing how gullible you idiots are that hate clouds your abilities to cleary see whats really happening. You’re quick to call it cheating, but cheating is gaining an unfair advantage on your opponent ( a la patriots). What they did was play aggressive defense by pooling money (amongst themselves) for dynamic results. I keep hearing CART-OFFS, but can anyone of you trolls tell me who was carted off from 09-11 and if so, did it make a difference in the outcome of the game? I’ll answer it for you NONE! You people are HYPOCRITES of the worst kind, you get on here and preach moralism but 95% of you -Lie on your taxes-, -cheat on your wives-, and -display numerous forms of hate- towards something not worthy of it. As I’ve said before whether you trolls like it or not, the saints is still going to consistently kick your teams A** because offensively they’re just plain “BETTER” So do the rest of america a favor and use a step latter and get off your HIGH HORSES because your rhetoric “STINKS” As T.O. always states “Get your popcorn ready” its going to be a long season for you “B**ches* Oh I forgot, you HATE him too!!!

  36. This does not surprise me at all. Benson is a very hands off owner. He leaves the football stuff to the football people. His daughter Rita is more hands on so I would guess there is a chance she may have known but again Benson not knowing is plausable.

  37. almost every saints article on this site is written by the same guy. an admitted viking fan…do you people that say they cheated really believe that? lied, yes? not cheated. they had no advantage. i would be happy to sit with anyone and watch any saints game and debate where any cheap, legal, or late hits occur….haters

  38. Of course he knew. The league went to him first with its suspicions, so for him to tell the other owners he didn’t know is bull. The fact that he didn’t apologize to the other owners for his team’s actions (whether he participated directly or not) AND the fact that he still supports the coaches who brought Roger’s wrath down around their ears, which could very well effect the team’s success this year and beyond, tells me all I need to know about this a$$hole.

  39. “Benson tells owners he didn’t know about bounties”

    Liar. Have to stones to admit the truth since your entire organization was caught red handed.

  40. The fact that Loomis and Payton still have jobs tell me Benson’s okay with this whole thing. Not the kind of message I’d want to send, but I digress.

  41. God-del shold have come down harder on the team as well and that includes the owner. Hard to believe he had no idea and did not help in the money part.

  42. Benson is as hands-off an owner as they come. Many people see Jerry Jones, Jim Irsay, etc, who seem to be highly involved in everything their teams do. Benson is not like that. He lets the football people work on football, and he stays out of it. Not hard to believe he didn’t know about this. People may not want to believe it, but I truly believe most of the offensive players didn’t know either.

  43. Way to go hound44! You tell em dawg! The Saints will hit even harder this year. Wait till the Saints start the season 5 and 0 and other fans will be saying hey, why is the league letting the Saints win? The Saints ain’t supposed to win! I love it. As much hate as the Saints are getting they must be doing something right. Hey, the Saints have been alot of things over the years but i can say this with all honesty, “the Saints have never been boring”! Geaux Saints!

  44. The only reason people are wanting Benson to clean house is so your team can go after Sean Payton. Too bad for you. He’s staying in NOLA!

  45. Garbage franchise and it starts with the top.

    Kurt Warner is absolutely the type of player you should intentionally try to end his career.

    How can this guy look the other owners in the face?

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