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 Post subject: NFR: Saints have to consider possibility of Payton's departu
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:51 pm 
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What could become interesting is if this situation turns into college football, where a "program" (say like the one in northern Texas...) through back-door channels makes overtures to a sitting coach with another "program" (say like the one in southern Louisiana) to see if they can pry him away. Basically like the Les Miles to Arkansas chatter. But in college sports, it's often used as leverage to drive up the price on their current contract. It'll be interesting how Payton treats this. Is he looking for a bigger payday from the Saints, or is he seriously going to entertain the thought of departing.

http://www.profootballweekly.com/2012/1 ... aytons-dep

Saints have to consider possibility of Payton's departure

Posted Dec. 17, 2012 @ 10:56 a.m. ET
By Dan Parr

The Saints want to avoid going through the process of asking commissioner Roger Goodell to rule on whether the final year of Sean Payton’s contract is 2012 or '13 and, in effect, try to force Payton to remain their head coach.

However, it might come to that.

The Saints don’t want to lose Payton this offseason, but they certainly want an opportunity to be compensated for his services if they do reach a point of no return with him. Saints owner Tom Benson’s preference is to put an end to questions about Payton's contract status and the rumors about where Payton might be coaching next season.

However, none of our sources believe the Saints and Payton are on the verge of finalizing a new deal.

Payton knows his potential free agency is leverage over the Saints, and he is curious to see what options might be available to him on the open market in an offseason where there could be widespread turnover in the head-coaching ranks.

It’s approaching three weeks since the Saints received permission from the league to discuss terms of a new contract with Payton while he serves the remainder of his suspension, and the Saints are facing the prospect of losing the only head coach to ever lead them to a title.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Saints have to consider possibility of Payton's dep
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:14 pm 
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On a related note, Curtis Lofton made a foolish choice this past off-season.


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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Saints have to consider possibility of Payton's dep
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:54 pm 
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I think the choice was pretty much made for Lofton and I think the Saints will pay Payton whatever they have to.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Saints have to consider possibility of Payton's dep
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:40 am 
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Did he? I know because we can only look 3 weeks into the future as opposed to 3 years, it seems that way. But this year is more than likely just a hiccup for the Saints, assuming Payton returns. Next year, they'll probably be right back atop the NFC South and considered a Super Bowl favorite.

Will that be the case for the Falcons? Probably not. This year is really their shot. Now obviously, the Falcons could very well take advantage of that shot. But in all likelihood, the Falcons will regress next year and in future years just due to all of the aging talent and not enough good bodies to replenish it.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Saints have to consider possibility of Payton's dep
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:08 am 
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We have three conspisuously aged players--McLure, Abe and Gonz--all of whom are fairly significant witht he two ends prominent. I guess you could put Turner in that group and maybe Babs. But aside form Abe and Gonz who are both arguably HOFers I don't see a huge drain in talent due to age. We've had young players step up nicely. I do, however, think this year was a hiccup for the Saints. I think the NFC South will be up for grabs a lot in the coming years as I think Cam is going to be special.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Saints have to consider possibility of Payton's dep
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:57 pm 
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See I disagree there. Losing Gonzo will be a significant loss to our offense. Will it suddenly make us into the dregs of the league? Of course not. But you're taking a Top 10 offense with him, and probably making them average.

And on defense, I know we all believe in Nolan, and we've had some strong performances in some key games there. But people need not forget that overall this season, the Falcons defense is fairly mediocre. And they don't have replacements for Babs and Abe currently on the roster, in the sense of guys that you can rely on to make plays. Babs has 1 year left on his contract after this year, and Abe I believe has 2. Samuel has 2 years left, and is not the guy he once was. Those 3 guys, Spoon, and Moore are really the only really good players on our defense. Everybody else is just average to above average, and if the Falcons get into a situation going forward where players like Peters, Robinson, Nicholas, DeCoud, Biermann are being forced to be among the Top 5 or so players on defense as opposed to the Bottom 5, then this defense is going to look even more mediocre. They are complementary players, which means that they are complementing better football players. The comparison I would make is getting too caught up in who is lining up beside Ed Reed at SS or Ray Lewis at ILB. Dawan Landry, Ed Hartwell, Will Demps, Bernard Pollard, Jameel McClain, Tavares Gooden, Dannell Ellerbe, etc. They aren't assets, they're bodies. And people see that some of these "bodies" are playing well, and think that is meaningful. It's not.

Now the Falcons are by no means doomed. If they can draft well this year and in the upcoming years, any sort of "dip" will be small and short.

But Falcon fans should not be "lulled" into thinking that 2012 represents a "game change" or some long-term shift of the power in the NFC South. If Payton returns to NO, then there's really no reason to think that things in 2013 won't just revert back to where they were from 2009-11.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Saints have to consider possibility of Payton's dep
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:07 pm 
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Aren't they entering salary cap hell, though?

This, more than anything would be the reason I'd say they'll struggle to stay at the top. It's very, very hard to keep consistently strong teams together because those "just a guys" become overvalued and you have to overpay/let them go. Drafting/signing their replacements is not a 100% guarantee.


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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Saints have to consider possibility of Payton's dep
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Good points, Pudge. I agree about Tony. His contribution can hardly be understated. I think we have two good safeties and a good, young LB corps. Our biggest problems are impact players on the lines. We really need to go heavy DL on the next draft. A lot has been made of the Ol but we have really made a fair number of high picks there. Those guys just have to step up into the starting line up and perform. Brees is the X Factor but, clearly, Payton is missed. It will be a dog fight every year in the NFC South not the relative cakewalk NE has been enjoying for years.

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 Post subject: Re: NFR: Saints have to consider possibility of Payton's dep
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:53 pm 
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If the OL plays like it did vs. the Giants the rest of the year, I'd be willing to give these guys another year together. I still think the Falcons should pick up a RG this off-season, but I could envision a scenario where Baker is brought back, Holmes competes with him, Blalock goes at LG, Konz at C, Hawley competes there, Clabo stays at RT. Maybe a scenario where Holmes moves inside to RG. Reynolds is re-signed and Johnson is in the mix there.

But again, that's contingent on this unit playing like they did vs. NYG the rest of the season. Which given they've maybe had 1 or 2 games like that all year long, the odds are still very low that happens.

DL needs to be a priority. It's a good crop of pass rushers this year, and I think the Falcons have a perfect opportunity to take advantage of that. The OG class has some good players as well, but not sure there is going to be any Cordy Glenns at the end of Round 1.

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