saints (n.) - NFL franchise presently based in New Orleans; boondoggle (n.) - an unnecessary or wasteful project or activity; saintsdoggle (n.) - the Saints' potential relocation situation in New Orleans, and the resulting boondoggle by Louisiana to keep the team from leaving

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Why no Haslett extension?

I was reading a story earlier today about the Saints and coach Jim Haslett, and wondered whether Haslett ever signed that extension he was promised by Tom Benson after last season.

I'll save you the suspense if you don't already know - he hasn't.

As a flashback, from the the January 9, 2005, Columbia Daily Tribune, entitled "Haslett to return to Saints after strong finish," Haslett met with Benson in January and was assured he was returning to the team for the 2005 season and probably for longer than that. The story continues:
"Haslett also is in the process of negotiating a two-year contract extension for himself and his coaching staff, two team sources said. The deals could be finalized as early as next week.
'Obviously, there’s been a lot of speculation about the coach the whole year, and we wanted to get that behind us as quick as possible,' (Saints general manager Mickey) Loomis said. 'We’re strongly behind Jim. He’s our coach.'"
Again, that was in January.

Then, in March, the New Orleans Times-Picayune's Saints Watch Weblog under the headline, "Haslett Extension Coming Soon," reported that we should "Expect to see the Saints lock up Haslett in a two or three year contract extension that could keep the embattled coach in New Orleans until at least 2009."

The season kicks off in three weeks, and Haslett still has no extension.

Why not?

Well, a lot has happened since January in Saintsland. If you've been to this site before, you know where I think things are headed (see the timeline at the bottom of the article, "Finney nails it," as well as updates to that timeline here and here.). Perhaps Benson has gotten an offer for the Saints, and perhaps he's conditionally accepted with an agreement to maintain the status quo until he can buy his way out of the agreement with Louisiana after the 2005 season. Perhaps then he'll sell the team to a group of L.A. investors for $1 billion, and perhaps the new owners won't want Haslett to be coach.

And perhaps, with the news posted earlier today about a confirmation of the NFL's plan to reach an agreement with Los Angeles in the next two months, some information on plans to move the Saints to Los Angeles will come down in October or shortly thereafter.

An extension for a coach the new owners don't want, right before such a sale takes place, would be problematic.

And so, like Saints fans everywhere, Haslett coaches on in FAITH while he waits for Tommy Boy to come through, wondering with the rest of us what truths the future holds.


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