Did Saints GM Spy On Teams?

April 24, 2012

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 09:  General manager o...

CAPTION: Did Saints GM Loomis eavesdrop on opposing teams?

We knew that Saints liked to play dirty, we just did not know how dirty or deep this really went.

We can remember the cheap shots, the late hits and Bret Favre getting tossed around like a rag doll in a playoff game just two years ago. Amazingly, the NFL, known for being “ultra-protective” of their quarterbacks, had an officiating crew that apparently forgot they were carrying flags and whistles in that game.

Fast forward to 2012. Former Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams is found to have been running a bounty scheme in the locker room. Some players spoke up about this “anonymously” An investigation had actually been going on since 2010 when the league was asked to looked into some actions during playoff games going back into the 2009-2010 season.

Roger Goodell is known for his iron fist. He tries to run a league that is not only clean, but holds players to a higher standard. Goodell makes the players accountable for their actions and tries to keep the image of the League that of respectability. His initial punishments were swift.

Gregg Williams, now a defensive coordinator with the Rams, was suspended indefinitely and will not be allowed to apply for reinstatement until the end of the 2012 season at the earliest.

Sean Payton, the head coach, was suspended for the entire 2012 season, effective April 1. He is the first head coach in modern NFL history to be suspended for any reason. Mainly due to his inability to have control over what was happening on his staff with the “bounty scheme”.

General manager Mickey Loomis was also suspended for the first eight games of the 2012 season.

And now Loomis is making headlines again, and once again for bad reasons.

An ESPN OUTSIDE THE LINES report has claimed that Loomis had an electronic device or devices in his suite at the Superdome that would allow him to listen to the conversations of visiting coachers during the 2002-2003 and 2004 seasons

This investigation is in its infant stages, but this further tarnishes the golden helmets and the reputation of a franchise that has long been the laughing stock of the NFL. Known by such monikers as the “aint’s” New Orleans rose from the flooding and devastation during Hurricane Katrina to bring the first major sports championship to the city that needed a boost in the arm after suffering through a horrendous set of circumstances in the wake of a natural disaster.

Now it appears the natural disaster is becoming more and more self-inflicted. Accusations of cheating, large sanctions and suspensions are already out there from “bounty gate” and it is still likely that some of the players involved in the bounty scheme will be facing fines and suspensions.

In the meantime the Saints are going to need to do some serious spin doctoring to try and change their image, which is starting to take on the appearance of some of the clientele on Bourbon Street on a raucous evening. Not thinking clearly, doing what they can to get there way, and ending up in the morning regretting some of the decisions that were made the night before.

Yes, this is turning into the Big Sleazy.

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Broncos Trade Tim Tebow To Jets

March 21, 2012

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DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17:  Quarterback Mark Sa...

Love ya, teammate!

Tim Tebow sparked Tebowmania in 2011.  Despite uneven – and at times very bad – play at the quarterback position, Tebow managed a 7-4 record as a starter and became a much beloved figure in the Mile High City.  Tebow jersey were flying off the shelves, and high school kids everywhere were tebowing.

The amazing flight of Tim Tebow crash landed this week when the Broncos signed future Hall of Famer quarterback Peyton Manning to a contract.  Manning was cut loose by the Indianapolis Colts to avoid payment of a $28 million roster bonus.  After a prolonged recruiting trip, current Hall of Famer and Denver icon John Elway convinced Manning that the place for him to begin his quest for another ring was in Denver.

Naturally, the minute that Manning signed on the dotted line, he became the starting quarterback for the Broncos.  You don’t pay a guy $96 million (over five years) to carry a clipboard.  Suddenly, Manning is The Man and Tebow was relegated to backup duty, perhaps being rotated in for a series once in a while.  Maybe even converted to a halfback to keep his athleticism on the field.

Then the other shoe dropped.  Tebow was being shipped out.  He was traded today to the New York Jets.  The Jets got Tebow and a 7th round pick and the Broncos got a 4th and 6th round pick.

How the mighty have fallen.  The once “great” Tebow was now being valued less than a hundred or so players who will be drafted before the Broncos will be able to draft a player with that 4th round pick.

Does the deal make sense for the Broncos?

I’m not a huge Tebow fan, but this deal makes very little sense to me.  Many people – including me – felt that he was overvalued when the Broncos spent a first round pick on him.  But on the flip side, I definitely think he’s worth more than a 4th rounder plus the 6-for-7 swap.  Really, there’s a player in the 4th round who provides more value to the Broncos than Tim Tebow?

IOWA CITY, IA - NOVEMBER 21: Linebacker A.J. E...

This is Adam Weber.

Without Tebow on the roster, the Broncos are going to be force to acquire a backup quarterback.  They chased Kyle Orton out of town – to give Tebow a wide berth.  Brady Quinn recently signed with KC while the Manning/Tebow sagas played out.  According to NFL.com, the only other QB on Denver’s roster is Adam Weber.  Weber is best known for … actually, nobody really knows who he is.  He may not have existed when I began writing this article.  As for the wisdom of backup up Manning with an inexperience QB – how did that work out for the Colts this year (other than winning the Andrew Luck sweepstakes)?

It’s not even about the money – Tebow will make $1.942 million in 2012, $2.266 million in 2013, and $2.590 million in 2014.  Those are bad salaries for a guy who has shown some ability to win games.  Heck, Matt Flynn recently signed a $24 million contract (over three years) on the strength of his performance in ONE game.

Does the deal make sense for the Jets?

Definitely.  They only give up a 4th round pick for Tebow.  At worst, he backs up Mark Sanchez and serves as a capable second string QB.  If Sanchez were to continue to regress, there’s even the chance that the Jets would let Tebow take the team out for a spin and see what he can do with the offense.  Although some are rubbed the wrong way by Tebow’s Christian messages, he’s definitely not the sort of player who is going to make headlines for the wrong reason (Big Ben).

All in all, there’s very little downside here, and a decent amount of upside – especially if Tebow can every figure out how the pass the ball effectively.

Around the NFL: Horse of a different color

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 13: Jeff Saturday #63 a...

I was not able to find a public domain image of Saturday's backside.

Several other Colts may be switching their mounts and also joined the Broncos.  My friend Ray gave me a heads-up that center Jeff Saturday, tight end Dallas Clark,  and running back Joseph Addai are all being mentioned as possible free agent signings by Denver.  If all goes well for Denver, Manning could once again be staring at Saturday’s butt, handing the ball off the Addai, and finding Dallas Clark in the back on the end zone.

Add these cogs into the mix, and the Broncos could easily find themselves in the playoff rodeo once again.

Around the NFL: Saints Brass Lose Halos

The other big new story of the day is the NFL cracking down on the New Orleans Saints for Bountygate.


  • Head coach Sean Payton, entire 2012 season
  • GM Mickey Loomis, eight games
  • Assistant coach Joe Vitt, six games
  • Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (now with Rams) suspended indefinitely.  Status to be reviewed after the season.

Other penalties:

  • $500,000 fine
  • Forfeiture of second round picks in 2012 and 2013

It’s interesting to look at these penalties alongside the penalties for SpyGate.  There were no suspensions for the Patriots, but they were stripped of a first round pick.  So was BountyGate worse, or SpyGate?


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