Thursday, 15 March 2012 12:10
Will New Orleans Saints weather Brees drama, Nicks and Meacham losses, Bountygate drama

paytonMarch has been the Saints' cruelest month 

For the nascent Nash Roberts wanna-be’s in the room, March blew in like a lion for the Saints. Even the late WWL weather  legend would have donned two layers of hurricane gear after the NFL’s revelations that America’s latest darlings had sullied the integrity of the game with the Bountygate scandal. Whether March goes out like a lamb or the franchise is chased into April by a veritable pack of wild beasts will be up to Commissioner Roger Goodell’s impending sentence. Until then, it is almost like watching one of the Saints’ less proficient games of recent vintage, such as at Tampa Bay or at San Francisco.

 The team came out stumbling and bumbling, fumbling the ball repeatedly with the pay-to-injure charges and subsequent denials. Then they threw an ill-timed interception with the inability to sign Drew Brees to a long-term contract before the franchise tag deadline. Like an intercepted pass, all the blame can’t be given to the passer, as the other side contributed at least equally to the impasse. We do not know what Brees agent Tom Condon demanded, but we do know the number was well beyond GM Mickey Loomis’ comfort zone. The team’s next attempt to recover was stymied when they could not use the franchise tag to protect one of their other stars, notably offensive guard Carl Nicks, who went the other way and scored big with the Buccaneers. The Saints put a touchdown on the board by signing WR Marques Colston to a long-term deal, but then gave back a field goal when WR Robert Meacham ran a lucrative post pattern into the San Diego end zone. So now we find ourselves at halftime. It is the middle of March, and a lot of time remains on the clock. However, the NFL gets the ball as we start the third quarter, and they look unstoppable as Goodell has intimated the Saints will be heavily penalized with fines, suspensions and draft choices. The long-term effect of those penalties may be worse than the short-term effect. Despite losing Nicks and Meacham, the Saints do retain the core of the best offense in the game, and could be even better with Marc Ingram healthy and the magical Darren Sproles repeating his legerdemain all over the field.

If you put a score to all this right now, the Saints are down about 21-7. The Saints have time to rally, with some economical free agent signings and a conclusion to the Brees’ contract imbroglio. But then we factor in Steve Spagnuolo’s recrafting of the defense, and the possibility that Brees does not sign. He says emphatically that he does not want to play under the franchise tag. March may turn out to be the cruelest month in team history, but last time I looked they have six more months to resolve all their problems or watch them compound themselves into what could be a very long winter.

Jim Miller is a former journalist (Baltimore Sun), NFL executive (Saints, Bills and Bears) and college athletic director (University of New Orleans). See Jim's unique perspective of sports and more on his website:

 Orleans Saints: Pay Drew Brees, Pay The Man

(Visit Louisiana Sports for a sale ending soon on Saints, LSU merchandise)

More New Orleans Saints sports stories



Join Our Email List


Media Sources


Login to post comments
  • A July 4th Fact of Facts: America is Land of Immigrants
  • Poll: Trump strong on jobs, weak on tweets, viewed as reckless, thin-skinned, sexist
  • President Trump, It doesn't feel like Independence Day
  • YIPPIE! The naked truth about free speech, cherished especially on Independence Day

mass2On July 4, 1778, George Washington doubled liquor rations for the soldiers quartered in Princeton, NJ, as a way to celebrate Independence Day. It’s fitting, therefore, that the Fourth of July is America's top-selling beer holiday, according to the Beer Institute. It estimated, in 2013, that sales of beer on the 4th could total $1 billion, doubtlessly higher today. “In moderation,” claims a CA brewery investor, Grover McKean, “beer is tasty and healthy.” Who could disagree?

Read More

joe mikaAs Donald Trump faces the top world leaders this week, including a face-time with Vladimir Putin, and as his healthcare proposals face an uphill climb, his poll numbers for how the nation views him could be better.

According to a morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday morning, his tweets, including that against MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, and his personality are not helping him, at all.

Read More

indy dayII know the calendar says we are approaching the 4th of July, but, it just doesn’t feel like Independence Day.

Perhaps it should.  It’s hot as heck.  The airlines have been packed. The hot dogs are ready for grilling.  The umps are saying, "play ball". The patriotic activities are scheduled. The fireworks are ready-for-blasting. 

Yet, it just doesn’t feel like independence day.

Read More

bill rights2To President Thomas Jefferson, July 4th celebrated more than the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He thought it was a link to the future. The message prominent colonists sent to King George III led to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the initial and most prominent feature of which is the First Amendment that guarantees free speech. It’s part of the country’s fundamental essence that each man and woman can say what they feel about government, or anything else, proving President Donald Trump needs some civics lessons.

Read More


Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1