Saints may force the league’s hand on Antonio Brown

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The league apparently had hoped to kick the can all the way through the postseason regarding the status of receiver Antonio Brown. The Saints apparently may keep that from happening.

If the Saints sign Brown, who is working out for the team today, the league will have to place Brown on the Commissioner Exempt list in order to keep him off the field in the postseason. It’s believed that no team has signed Brown because of the possibility/probability that the league would take such action, forcing his new team to pay him to not play while an investigation regarding sexual assault allegations continues. However, the league has declined to comment publicly on whether that would be the outcome.

The circumstances have resulted in a three-month unpaid suspension for Brown, who ultimately has no rights to force the league to finish its investigation or to make a decision as to his status in accordance with any specific timeline. Whether intended or not, it’s an unfair outcome for any player; even if he’s ultimately cleared by the league, the mere existence of the investigation (despite no arrest or criminal charges) has operated to keep Brown out of the league far longer than most players who ever have been suspended under the Personal Conduct Policy.

For the Saints (or any other team that is entering the playoffs), the prospect of signing Brown now entails zero financial risk. If he’s placed on paid leave, the pay will be coming not from the team but from the league-wide playoff pool. So it gives the Saints dibs on Brown and forces the league to deal with a situation it would rather ignore.

The move also would give the Saints an incredibly viable alternative to Michael Thomas. Indeed, in final game ever with the Steelers, Brown caught 14 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints in New Orleans.

The chances of Brown actually playing for the Saints in the postseason remain slim. The most significant development for now is that the Saints have broken ranks with the league, and the Saints may force the league to do something it surely preferred not to do.

109 responses to “Saints may force the league’s hand on Antonio Brown

  1. Brown may be a complete jerk, but Goodell and the god syndrome must play bely the rules and let him play. Both of them are a bad look for the NFL.

  2. They will wait until you sign him and have it go against your cap then officially pout him on the exempt list.

  3. Or, no team wants to sign him because of his demands in Pittsburgh, his antics in Oakland, his failure in New England, and his twitter rants. Oh, and that whole sexual assault thing as well.

  4. Wow. The Saints are really arrogant here.

    NE asked about any issues and they were lied to by Rosenhaus.

    Now that we know, it is clear the league wants to get more information. His behavior gets worse by the week.

  5. 2018, Saints force the NFL to change their rulebook for Pass Interference.
    2019, Saints force the NFL to change their stance on an exempt player who shouldn’t be playing.

    Smells like desperation. Starting to hate this team more and more.

  6. If the Saints sign him you can be sure the league will make the situation worse. It’s what they do….

  7. Great play here

    If he gets suspended fine a free compensary pick for one games pay when he leaves.

    Force Roger to do something he does not want to do!

    If he does play Lord help the defensive coaches in the playoffs!

  8. So the Saints would sign him only to spite the NFL?

    Doesn’t make alot of sense to sign a guy that’s not going to play – and the unwanted circus doesn’t help anyone except the crazy man.

  9. Not an AB fan, but I love this move by the Saints. Goodell and the gang on Park Ave. have wanted to avoid this issue like it was radioactive and now the Saints are trying to force them to make a decision one way or another. In all honesty, I hope they put him on the exempt list, but they should at least make a clear decision instead of keeping the player and teams in limbo.

    PS- I guess all the work they’ve been putting into investigating the AB situation is why they still can’t figure out if Belichick was pals with the cameraman?

  10. How much confidence do you really have in your team if you have to grasp at Antonio Brown for the playoffs?

  11. tylawspick6 says:
    December 27, 2019 at 9:44 am
    Wow. The Saints are really arrogant here.
    ——————————————-

    You couldn’t be more wrong. Whatever anyone thinks of Brown, I believe he is a an unstable toxic trainwreck, it is the league that has operated in a high handed arrogant manner in this situation. The fact that AB has behaved abysmally doesn’t absolve the league for the arrogant way they’ve shelved him. Even a putz like Brown merits fairness, otherwise the league isn’t behaving any better than AB has in not paying people that have provided him with goods and services. The road runs in both directions, you liking the league’s choice notwithstanding.

  12. I don’t think a guy should be banned just because I don’t like them. There are a lot of people that I don’t personally like but I don’t wish any ill will towards them. It’s a free society. Being a jerk isn’t illegal. You can tell that by the comments you read everyday on the internet. Brown doesn’t have a monopoly on being a jerk.

  13. Let the saints sign him. Give him a suspension with the time out of the league considered as the suspension time and let him play in the playoffs. Let the saints roll the dice on whether he blows up on the team or not. They probably only have a ten percent chance this works. As much talent as he has I hope he gets his act together.

  14. Saints or the fans don’t care if you hate them no team except maybe the Raiders has been been more jobed by the nfl. So we as fans dont care that anyone hates us. The league has done more to hurt this team every single week.

  15. “Whether intended or not, it’s an unfair outcome for any player; even if he’s ultimately cleared by the league, the mere existence of the investigation (despite no arrest or criminal charges) has operated to keep Brown out of the league far longer than most players who ever have been suspended under the Personal Conduct Policy.”

    So when he was on the Pats and the accusations came out you were absolutely screaming for him to be suspended by the Pats, the league, or put on the exempt list.

    Now you’re defending him and trying to get him back on the field.

    SMH

  16. If the league blocks him from playing, he wouldn’t be in the lockerroom or on the field or appearing at team pressers. There would be no “circus.”

    And yes, we should all side with the player. This game used to be played for the joy of it, and the NFL hijacked it to make rich men richer. Only a very sick or very stupid person would side with corporate.

  17. I see the financial aspect of no real risk here…. but

    1. Why would a team, going into the playoffs, want to bring in a huge distraction to the team at this point? Every saints interview from here on out will be about AB. That’s all anyone will be talking about.

    2. Why would AB want to play for playoff game money? Huge risk vs reward there for a guy who was very vocal about having plenty of money and not needing the NFL anymore.

  18. It is kind of funny now that the saints might sign him, it is a great move and he deserves to play. But where was that narrative when the Patriots signed him and everyone bashed them, because his agent lied to them? Dude is a great player, but he hasn’t made it easy for teams that would be interested in signing him

  19. commentawaitingdeletion says:
    December 27, 2019 at 10:09 am
    tylawspick6 says:
    December 27, 2019 at 9:44 am
    Wow. The Saints are really arrogant here.
    ——————————————-

    You couldn’t be more wrong. Whatever anyone thinks of Brown, I believe he is a an unstable toxic trainwreck, it is the league that has operated in a high handed arrogant manner in this situation. The fact that AB has behaved abysmally doesn’t absolve the league for the arrogant way they’ve shelved him. Even a putz like Brown merits fairness, otherwise the league isn’t behaving any better than AB has in not paying people that have provided him with goods and services. The road runs in both directions, you liking the league’s choice notwithstanding.

    0 1 Rate This

    -/—————-

    I could not be more wrong, the league all agreed to not sign this guy after the news broke he was involved in a lawsuit and a possible domestic situation. We all know how sensitive that is based on Goodell’s attempted cheating excursion with Bisciottit and Ray Rice back in 2014.

    We have seen how these things can snowball. Many believe part of the Deflategate framejob was to take the light off of the Ravens caught stone cold in a federal court lying about what they knew and how they handled Ray Rice.

    Enough with the sanctimonious garbage. Brown has had 75 billion chances to show he is genuine. He couldn’t even stay off social media after Brady hosted him at his own house!!

    So, yes, the Saints, thinking the rules or solidarity by the 31 other teams, is worthless, is arrogant.

  20. This is a guy who should never play in the league again. I don’t care how good he is he’s a terrible person and his behavior it’s not what the NFL wants. He’s just as bad in it as anybody else has been banned from the leaves like Aldon Smith for instance. This guy is a real maggot you should probably be in jail not on the field.

  21. u4iadman says:
    December 27, 2019 at 10:28 am
    How about following up on the new pats cheating scandal and getting some answers on that, eh? Hello?

    0 1 Rate This

    ————-

    Yes, let’s get an update on those sneaky Ravens.

  22. napgamer says:
    December 27, 2019 at 10:14 am
    Let the saints sign him. Give him a suspension with the time out of the league considered as the suspension time and let him play in the playoffs. Let the saints roll the dice on whether he blows up on the team or not. They probably only have a ten percent chance this works. As much talent as he has I hope he gets his act together.

    __________________

    To put it in legal terms,he deserves more than “time served”,and I’m not talking about things that he’s been accused of. I mean the things that he actually did.

  23. Do you mean the NFL will actually have to come up with evidence against Antonio Brown to keep him from playing in the NFL this season. If so that’s good for the Saints; Making a move that forces the league to do the right thing. The NFL should come up with evidence of criminal behavior and not just money driven accusations without solid proof.

  24. Let’s not use the term “unfair outcome for a player” when the player in question is Antonio Brown. The guy has signed more contracts than he’s played games this year, and it is 100% his fault.

  25. you already have Michael Thomas and Kamara. a suspect defense is what they should be worried about. as a Pats fan this would be some BS lol. if Saints sign him he’s gotta be suspended, no way they can let him play now, if Pats had to let him go and go thru all that, no one should be able to have him play this year. maybe Saints want to try and get first dibs so that in the offseason if his suspension is lifted they’ll have his rights.

  26. An unfair suspension by the NFL? How about if ab acted anything close to a normal human being, he would still be playing with the raiders for 30 mil. He made his own bed, stop coddling and making excuses for this loser.

  27. I do not get why people continue to bash the league in these situations. This situation exists because the NFLPA agreed to it in the CBA. If anything, bash the NFLPA and players who agreed to this.

  28. Interesting comments on AB being “toxic in the locker room”.

    The reason that wouldn’t happen with the Saints? Drew Brees.

    Also, if he gets out of line, Sean doesn’t allow him to cross the sideline.

    #WhoDat

  29. u4iadman says:
    December 27, 2019 at 10:28 am
    How about following up on the new pats cheating scandal and getting some answers on that, eh? Hello?

    ______________

    As usual the league can’t find any real evidence of cheating … so they “continue” to “Investigate”

  30. HEY,
    As much as AB has frustrated/disappointed me as a individual yet alone player by all his actions, from a BUSINESS standpoint, I believe this is a BRILLIANT MOVE by the Saints at this stage of the season……I doubt anything will become of it but IF the league does indeed not do anything about him joining the Saints, they just became the hands down favorite to win the Super Bowl & then they can either resign him or get a comp pick for him in FA NEXT YEAR…. again, from a BUSINESS STANDPOINT, it’s a BRILLIANT MOVE!!!!!
    Go Pats!!!!!!

  31. @blowncallssuck- he wouldnt be eligible for compensatory formula.
    “To qualify as a compensatory free agent, players need to have been signed as unrestricted free agents before May 8, be on their team’s roster for at least 10 weeks of the regular season and rank in the top 50 percent of the NFL’s compensatory-pick formula”

  32. The league got quiet awful fast after the Pats cut him.. Maybe the news and the league won’t care if he’s playing for the Saints. One thing is for certain, if he does play he will be productive in an offense that is already pretty good. The NFC better watch out.

  33. It is a little bogus that the league is practicing what is essentially entrapment. “Hey lets wait until he signs with a team, counts against their cap, and then put him on the exempt list”. How about Goodell makes a decision regarding AB’s future right now so all teams have understanding on how to move forward.

  34. You people are hilarious. You claim you hate Goodell and trash him any chance you can, yet Sean Payton has a way to stick it to him and you defend him. To hell with all of you and your garbage teams. I can’t wait for the hammer to drop on your team, and it will happen. It’s just a matter of time.

  35. So, the Saints are quietly possibly winning the #1 seed and they want to bring in some social media azz clown who couldn’t handle Juju getting props? Even the Raiders figured he wasn’t worth the headache.

  36. Not the first time SP has done this. Recall that in 2009, Jeremy Shockey was on the scrap heap after breaking his leg with the Giants. His attitude was so bad they made him pay his own way to go to the Super Bowl in 2007. Payton signed him and he was a big contributor to the Saints 2009 Super Bowl, even catching the go-ahead touchdown pass vs the Colts. Shockey bought in b/c he recognized that Payton has a lot of Al Davis in him – just play hard on the field and do what I tell you. Or, as someone once said about Jimmy Johnson at the U – “he coaches with both middle fingers extended”. That said, it is an extremely low risk move by the Saints. If the league suspends AB, so what. If they don’t, they get a game changer on a short term rental for cheap. The other players and Payton will keep AB in line or he will be shown the door pronto – you can bet on that

  37. Wow! Charlie Daniels fire up your fiddle. Saints are making a deal with the devil…The again I get it. If Ted Ginn could actually catch passes and run fast at the same time this wouldn’t be necessary.

  38. dmca12 says:
    December 27, 2019 at 10:43 am
    I do not get why people continue to bash the league in these situations. This situation exists because the NFLPA agreed to it in the CBA. If anything, bash the NFLPA and players who agreed to this.

    0 3 Rate This

    ———————————-

    the union did not agree to players being framed like brady

    No, no they didn’t

  39. Pay him $600K for one game, then he hopefully contributes in the playoffs, then he gets you a comp pick in 2021. What could possibly go wrong? (Other than Mr Big Chest popping up)

  40. so if the Saints sign him, and the league puts him on the exempt list, and he’s paid out of the pool of player money for playoff pay, and he gets paid for not playing, does that mean it reduces the pay of other players that actually play?

    Just wondering, because I don’t know and I don’t really have the time to research it. Maybe someone that knows the answer can pipe in.

    Thanks.

  41. promickey says:
    December 27, 2019 at 10:39 am
    Do you mean the NFL will actually have to come up with evidence against Antonio Brown to keep him from playing in the NFL this season. If so that’s good for the Saints; Making a move that forces the league to do the right thing. The NFL should come up with evidence of criminal behavior and not just money driven accusations without solid proof.

    ————————
    No, they don’t have to come up with anything, they can just say they are still investigating. And they can continue to say that for however long they want him out of football. When they are ‘done investigating’ is more likely to be determined via a negotiation than a finding.

  42. I agree that a decision should be made on Brown one way or the other,just so that he’s no longer twisting in the wind. It’s only fair. That said,I don’t believe that he should be given a chance to play in the playoffs,given the things that he’s done,excluding accusations. It doesn’t matter what team…it’s just not right. It’s like rewarding him. Never wanted him to be a Patriot,either,no matter how happy it made Brady.

  43. Brown isn’t suspended. He’s no different than you or me. We are not on the roster of any NFL team. The league isn’t wasting any time or money investigating you, me, or any other people who are not current NFL players. If a team chooses to sign you or me or Antonio Brown, then they’ll spend the resources to make sure we’re all clear to play. I really don’t understand why any team would sign Brown, especially the Saints. The Saints have more excuses than anyone, and they love blaming the league when they lose. Maybe they’re looking for their next excuse.

  44. promickey says:
    December 27, 2019 at 10:39 am
    Do you mean the NFL will actually have to come up with evidence against Antonio Brown to keep him from playing in the NFL this season. If so that’s good for the Saints; Making a move that forces the league to do the right thing. The NFL should come up with evidence of criminal behavior and not just money driven accusations without solid proof.
    ————————————————-
    Just a reminder that in the BountyFarce fiasco, Goodell showed evidence of exactly zero players getting hurt and zero players getting paid to hurt anybody. As far as AB goes, I’m going to take a wild guess that Payton probably has more NFL head coaching experience than most of the other people commenting here, not that they would admit to that. He, Loomis, and Brees know what they would be getting into. Brown for an entire season and when things weren’t going well is not a good idea. Brown with a couple of games that would allow him to showcase his talent for some sucker team next year could be brilliant.

  45. So Brees has some ethereal ability to keep a player in check that TB12 didn’t possess? Go back and watch the tape. AB couldn’t contain himself after 1 game with the Pats. Posing with arms outstretched…diving into the crowd….taking to social media while at TB’s house then again at the TB12 center…..it’s ABs world….everyone else just lives in it. He can’t help himself and Brees nor anyone else can control him.

    Unfortunately he will figure it all out at some point and realize that the problem all along is the man in the mirror….most likely it will be after his football career is over once and for all.

  46. Goodell wanted to kick the can down the offseason road. If he relents and allows Brown to play in the 2019 post-season, Kraft will have reason to ask just a few questions. Like, ‘Did you guys shoot and ask questions later?’

  47. tylawspick6 says:

    the union did not agree to players being framed like brady

    ______________

    What an outrage!
    So, the NFL framed Brady?
    Well then, Brady ought to retire, that’ll fix ’em!

  48. tylawspick6 says:
    December 27, 2019 at 10:26 am

    I could not be more wrong, the league all agreed to not sign this guy after the news broke he was involved in a lawsuit and a possible domestic situation.
    ——————————————————————

    Sooo…you’re saying ‘the league’ has engaged in collusion?
    First Law of Holes comes to mind here.

    Although it is nice to see you admit you are wrong for once, without blaming it on someone else.

  49. If the Saints succeed in getting Brown on the field, it will be like a form of prostitution. It isn’t right to let a deranged player help you for a couple of games when he needs help in the worst way and all you can think about is getting your own needs met. But then again, we are talking about the NFL. Go Anyone But The Saints.

  50. tylawspick6 says:

    Wow. The Saints are really arrogant here.

    That’s ironic coming from a Patriots fan. I’m sure all the Patriots fans said that about the Raiders until they cut him and NE signed AB. Then all of a sudden it was a brilliant move–for the week he played until he was cut. Now all of a sudden Pats fans are spouting off about AB and how arrogant it is that another team is interested in him. Talk about arrogant.

  51. Guess what the league will do if he signs? Nothing. And they know that bothers Brown more than just a suspension. They will put him on the exempt list and wait some more. Nothing new at all.

  52. whenwilliteverend says:
    December 27, 2019 at 11:44 am
    tylawspick6 says:

    Wow. The Saints are really arrogant here.

    That’s ironic coming from a Patriots fan. I’m sure all the Patriots fans said that about the Raiders until they cut him and NE signed AB. Then all of a sudden it was a brilliant move–for the week he played until he was cut. Now all of a sudden Pats fans are spouting off about AB and how arrogant it is that another team is interested in him. Talk about arrogant.

    0 1 Rate This

    ——————-
    How so? The leak of Brown’s issues came after NE signed him.

    It is clear no other NFL team has signed him for peanuts, as he begs for work, because Goodell has ordered no one to sign him, until NOs broke rank and has him working out.

    You people have the worst reading comprehension skills.

    NE had every right to sign him in October once he was cut by Oakland.

    The landscape has clearly changed with the news of his antics, completely unknown and hidden away by Rosenhaus.

  53. this seems like an absolute Brilliant move….isnt he basically a free player? If he is put on the list the league pays him…if he plays in playoffs the league pays him.

    So my question is, can the saints ONLY sign him for the playoffs? Since the salary would be for 2020 season how does that work? Anyone can shed light on how the contract looks in this situation?

  54. Not a fan of either Brown or Goodell, but the Saints obviously have a big resentment toward the league, and perhaps rightfully so. It’s not so much about the player here as it is about sticking it to Roger the dodger. You can bet the Commish won’t let Brown play in the post season, but I don’t blame the Saints either for making him flinch.

  55. fsstnotch says:

    December 27, 2019 at 10:23 am

    I see the financial aspect of no real risk here…. but

    1. Why would a team, going into the playoffs, want to bring in a huge distraction to the team at this point? Every saints interview from here on out will be about AB. That’s all anyone will be talking about.

    2. Why would AB want to play for playoff game money? Huge risk vs reward there for a guy who was very vocal about having plenty of money and not needing the NFL anymore.
    —————
    1. Their going into the playoffs so if true everyone will be asking about Brown it takes pressure off everyone else.

    2. Brown is vocal about a lot of things and changes his mind repeatedly and already has on now wanting to play in the NFL again. Why Brown would do it is the payout could be bigger. If hes signed and not placed on exempt/suspended list he gets at least 1 game/week to show he can be a team player and improve a team before going into free agency to hope for a multi year deal.

  56. If teams thought he would just wait out the investigation, then I’m sure there are plenty who would’ve signed him and waited it out. The issue is that every team knows he’s a basket case

  57. Innocent until proven guilty except in Roger land where the US constitution goes right out the window!

  58. @tylawspick6 says: “The landscape has clearly changed with the news of his antics, completely unknown and hidden away by Rosenhaus.”

    That’s only a partial truth. Part of Browns “antics” were also the helmet issue, feet issue, furniture/apartment and there were others I’m probably sure but those are right off top of my head. Rosenhaus kept 1 thing hidden but when someone repeatedly does stupid things you cant play shock and awe when you find out they’ve done worse.

  59. bdawkhof says:
    December 27, 2019 at 1:05 pm
    Saints ain’t Saints. they’re closer to scumbags…

    ————————————————
    Let the hate flow through you. Good! Your hate has made you powerful. Now, fulfill your destiny and yell “Who Dat, Who Dat, Who Dat say they gonna beat them Saints?”

  60. Sunday Swami says:
    December 27, 2019 at 12:28 pm
    @tylawspick6 says: “The landscape has clearly changed with the news of his antics, completely unknown and hidden away by Rosenhaus.”

    That’s only a partial truth. Part of Browns “antics” were also the helmet issue, feet issue, furniture/apartment and there were others I’m probably sure but those are right off top of my head. Rosenhaus kept 1 thing hidden but when someone repeatedly does stupid things you cant play shock and awe when you find out they’ve done worse.

    2 2 Rate This

    —————-

    I was specifically talking about the difference between a potential felony and his stupid antics and how Gruden is an enabler running a circus in oakland and seeing if brown wanted to still play. He did not.

  61. The Saints are always working on building more bad karma.

    The Saints came back from a 17–0 first-half deficit and established a 24–23 lead with 25 seconds remaining in the contest. On the last play of the game, Vikings quarterback Case Keenum threw a 27-yard pass to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who evaded Saints safety Marcus Williams and ran to the end zone to complete the 61-yard touchdown pass. This game was the first in NFL playoff history to end in a touchdown as time expired.

    Right before that last play, Coach Payton was giving the choke-sign to the Vikings, essentially mocking them. Seconds later, Karma hit and ended the playoff run for the Saints.

    Last year, the Saints got robbed by the non-call for pass interference. More Karma.

    Now they pick up Brown, a horrible human being. Karma can’t wait to act.

  62. Florio, Can AB sue in federal court to play immediately until the investigation is complete? This is civil not criminal…If he can sue file it ASAP!

  63. aj66shanghai says:
    December 27, 2019 at 10:22 am
    “….. This game used to be played for the joy of it, and the NFL hijacked it to make rich men richer. Only a very sick or very stupid person would side with corporate.”
    —————————

    Too funny.

    The NFL was always about making rich men richer. In fact, it was worse in the past. Years ago, players got very low pay. Most of them had to have other jobs to make ends meet.

    To suggest that “This game used to be played for the joy of it” is ridiculous.

  64. As a Pats fan, I don’t wish I’ll on AB or the Saints, but I am one Pats fan who would rather have the Pats win or lose without him.

  65. mikebacker9090 says:
    December 27, 2019 at 12:23 pm
    Innocent until proven guilty except in Roger land where the US constitution goes right out the window!
    ———————————-

    Too funny. The NFL isn’t a court of law. The NFL IS A BUSINESS. They can make their own rules to hire and fire anyone they want. The NFLPA agreed to the rules, so blame them for agreeing to allow the NFL to have the poser to keep a player from playing.

    We know that Goodell doesn’t want Brown in the NFL, especially during their important 100th Season. When Brown is playing, he is an example of everything that’s wrong with the NFL.

    Quite frankly, I agree with the NFL. Brown is bad for Business. He’s a walking commercial for everything that’s wrong with the NFL.

    Personally, I’m worried about Brown. He was a relatively “normal” person until he took that viscous hit to the head from Burfict. Since then, he’s been acting crazier by the day.

    The betting money is that Brown has a lasting head injury, probably CTE.

  66. As a Saints fan, I hope we sign him. Don’t care if he ever plays a down for us. Just want to stick it to Roger. I’m still waiting to see the 12,000 pages of Bountygate evidence he claims he had. And the supposed whistle blower, Mike Cerullo, is now working for Roger on Park Ave. Total BS.

    Not to mention the refs have a vendetta against the saints this year b/c we embarrassed them over their horrible no call last year. Don’t believe me, go look up the stats. It’s ridiculous.

  67. The refs screwed the Saints so badly in their first game against Carolina. They last thing they wanted was for us to wrap up the division with 4 weeks left to go in the season.

    We went for it twice on 4th&1, BOTH times flags were thrown for holding. One was accepted and we punted, the other we didn’t even convert and it was a turn over on downs. I can’t think of another game I have seen in my 30 years of watching football where a team was called for holding on multiple 4th&1 conversion attempts in a game. Just runs straight up the middle.

    It went on and on and on in that game and I couldn’t figure out at the time why the refs were trying to screw us so badly.

    Then I saw after the game that our win essentially locked up the NFC South and also killed any sort of Wild Card race for the NFC as the only WC issue was whether it went to the Vikings or Packers.

    So the NFL was trying to prolong the drama and thus make themselves more money over in the long term.

    I don’t think the league or the refs have a vendetta against the Saints. I just think they would prefer every game to come down to the final drive whether or not talent is the reason for that happening.

    They also stand to make a LOT more money from a huge city like Los Angeles winning a SuperBowl or even reaching one than they do from having a city with a population of only 500k reaching or winning the SuperBowl.

    It’s not up for debate that they completely blew that call in the NFCCG last year. That being said, I don’t think it was blown because of the teams involved. They would have blown that exact same call for all 31 other teams in the league.

    A penalty ends the game. A no call extends the game which means more advertising revenue and more “exciting” endings. The thing is most fans don’t care when the refs screw with the game to make the on field product more entertaining. Because us fans also want to see close and competitive games.

    It’s just a totally different matter when it comes to YOUR team being on the wrong end of calls that help to decide the game.

    I think the only difference between the missed call in the NFCCG last year and all the usual ‘adjusting’ the refs due for the sake of drama and ratings is that last year’s call was so blatantly obvious that it made it clear to all what they were in fact doing.

    Does nobody remember Mike Carey running into to blow the play dead when Eli Manning was about to be sacked by the Patriots. Instead Eli escapes and at the last moment Carey swallows his whistle and lets the play go on. That turns into the infamous David Tyree helmet catch. Nobody complained about it because it made the game entertaining.

    When I’m watching a game between two teams I could care less about the only thing I want to see is overtime and more football.

    So yes it was a horrible missed call that should not have happened. It happened because the referees could justify it in the moment and the NFL encourages this kind of behavior. They use their annual review process to place the bottom 1/3rd of officials who aren’t performing ‘up to par’ into a program meant to help them perform better.

    If you end up in that bottom 1/3rd a second year in a row. You are not an NFL official anymore. That’s pretty strong leverage to call the game the way the NFL wants it called.

    The only mistake the officials in the NFCCG from last year made was that the call they let go to make the game more dramatic was too obvious of a call to let go. If that call had been a little closer and a little easier to argue the call was legitimate this whole saga would’ve been avoided.

    So it’s not about the Saints got screwed last year, or XYX teams got screwed this year. It’s about the NFL’s primary goal when officiating games isn’t to ensure the outcome is correct, but to ensure it is as entertaining as possible.

    Pretty soon when sports gambling is available in more states than it isn’t you’ll find the NFL being held to a much higher standard regarding making the correct calls and not the ‘beneficial’ calls in to increasing the entertainment value of the game.

    The fact they want a 1% sports integrity fee to make sure their games have integrity is such a joke. Their chief mission should already be to make sure all games are played and called with integrity. I think they are thinking about the money they will lose as a result of less dramatic games and are trying to find a way to replace that revenue as much as possible.

    At the end of the day it’s a game that everyone in the league takes less seriously than the fans who watch it. We want legitimate outcomes and they just want more of our money.

    Those two issue must be dealt with before there will ever be truly fair outcomes.

    Until then, enjoy it for the entertainment it is. Any 3rd down drive extending call can result in 3 or 7 points for the team whose drive is extended. Just like any non-call that doesn’t extend a drive can result in you losing 3-7 points.

  68. Uh, the Saints didn’t break rank with the league. The league broke that rank last year when it failed to correct an egregious wrong that robbed a small market team (in total favor of the LA market) from going the the Super Bowl.

    There, fixed that for you.

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