Underhill: This is Roger Goodell’s NFL, and he simply can’t get things right

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell participates in a news conference for NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHOENIX — Roger Goodell stood at a podium in the Phoenix Convention Center, addressing the thousands of media members on hand to cover Sunday’s game and countless others watching at home, on the current state of the NFL. There was a lot to talk about. Yeah, sure, there’s a football game Sunday — a pretty big… Continue reading →

Junior Seau, Morten Andersen among candidates for Pro Football Hall of Fame

Advocate file photo by JOHN H. WILLIAMS -- Saints kicker Morten Andersen  follows through on a game-winning 49-yard field goal against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 3, 1988.

PHOENIX — When Junior Seau’s name is mentioned as a first-time Hall of Fame candidate, people nod in recognition of his career achievements. Then they shake their heads with sadness. Seau spent 20 seasons in the NFL as a dominant linebacker, winning Defensive Player of the Year honors for San Diego in 1992, making six All-Pro teams,… Continue reading →

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says Tom Benson is 'energetic' and 'in complete control' of the Saints

FILE - in this March 26, 2014, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during a news conference in Orlando, Fla. Goodell says the league asked for, but was not given, a just-released video showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee on an elevator. Goodell says during an interview with CBS aired Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014:

PHOENIX — If it were up to Roger Goodell to determine whether Saints owner Tom Benson is mentally fit to make his own decision, the NFL commissioner would give him his stamp of approval. At his Super Bowl news conference, Goodell was asked about the ownership squabble stemming from Benson’s recent decision to leave the Saints and… Continue reading →

Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. set world record for most one-handed catches in a minute

Photo by DON JUAN MOORE/ESPN Images -- Odell Beckham Jr. makes one of his 33 one-handed catches in a one-minute session with Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Thursday in Scottsdale, Ariz.

PHOENIX — Those who cheer for both the New Orleans Saints and LSU have likely let their minds wander about what it would be like for Drew Brees to throw passes to Odell Beckham Jr. On Thursday, that dream was realized. Sort of. On an ESPN set located in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Saints quarterback… Continue reading →

New Orleans Saints receiver Kenny Stills still optimistic about team’s future

Associated Press file photo by STEVEN SENNE -- Saints receiver Kenny Stills

PHOENIX — Kenny Stills isn’t worried about the future. The Saints might have finished a disappointing 7-9, and instead of playing in the Super Bowl, Stills was doing publicity hits there Thursday afternoon. “I don’t think there’s one singular thing for why the way our season went,” Stills said. “I think the coaches are going to make some… Continue reading →

Benson granddaughter Dawn says family dispute over Saints, Pelicans has left her ‘brokenhearted’

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson and Gayle Benson waves to the crowd before a preseason game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.

With her relatives feuding over who will inherit her grandfather’s NFL and NBA franchises as well as other properties when he dies, Dawn Benson Jones is “brokenhearted” at the allegations other relatives have made about Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson’s mental acuity, she said in a statement. The statement from Dawn Benson Jones circulated to New… Continue reading →

Sources: Delvin Breaux's official deal with the Saints is three years for $1.587 million

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --Delvin Breaux, New Orleans Voodoo Friday, March 8, 2013. COOKING.MAGS OUT / INTERNET  OUT/ONLINE OUT/NO SALES/TV OUT/FOREIGN OUT/ LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC./GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT/225/10/12/IN REGISTER/LBI CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS OUT/MANDATORY CREDIT THE ADVOCATE/ JOHN McCUSKER

Delvin Breaux inked a three-year deal with the Saints worth $1.587 million, according to a source. The deal contains a $12,000 signing and has $138,000 fully guaranteed for skill, injury and cap for 2015. There are no guarantees beyond the first season. His base salaries over the next three seasons will be $435,000, $525,000 and $615,000. Breaux signed with the Saints on Monday… Continue reading →

After failed stints with Saints, Rob Ninkovich has emerged on Patriots defense

New England Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork (75) and linebacker Rob Ninkovich (50) pursue the play during their first NFL preseason football game against the New Orleans Saints in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) j=afc.011813

PHOENIX — Part of Rob Ninkovich is thankful for the time he spent in New Orleans. If he ever falters as a defensive end, he now knows he has a skill he can fall back on as a long snapper. So he never has to worry about finding a job in another field. It’s like Patriots… Continue reading →

Seahawks safety Earl Thomas says Saints safety, fellow Texas Longhorn Kenny Vaccaro can get back on track

Associated Press photo by MATT YORK -- Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas answers a question at a Super Bowl XLIX news conference Wednesday in Phoenix. The Seahawks face the New England Patriots at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

PHOENIX — When Kenny Vaccaro was going through a rough patch earlier this season that led to his role being changed by the Saints, he reached out to Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas for some words of wisdom. A fellow star from the University of Texas, Thomas has developed a relationship with Vaccaro over the years and felt… Continue reading →

Former Saints quarterback Jeff Blake says all teams deflate footballs

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Former Saints quarterback Jeff Blake

. Former Saints quarterback Jeff Blake doesn’t understand all the hubbub over the Patriots allegedly deflating football during the AFC title game against the Indianapolis Colts. To him, this is common practice. So common, in fact, Blake says the balls were slightly deflated by quarterbacks in every game he played during his 13 years in the… Continue reading →

Saints save $150,000 in salary for 2015

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) calls a play for the offense against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

The Saints salary total for 2015 lost $150,000 worth of weight Wednesday, according to NFLPA documents. Looking through the documents, it appears the savings come from wide receiver Andy Tanner and safety Ty Zimmerman’s salaries remaining at $435,000, instead of bumping up to $510,000, as previously listed. Continue reading full story on The Advocate’s… Continue reading →

New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson says he’s ‘doing fine’ during halftime interview

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and his wife, Gayle Benson, wave to fans from their box at the Pelicans-Nuggets game at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015.

New Orleans Pelicans and Saints owner Tom Benson was interviewed at halftime of Wednesday’s Pelicans-Nuggets game at the Smoothie King Center, saying he’s “doing fine.” The 87-year-old owner, of course, is currently embroiled in a legal entanglement within his own family, being sued by his daughter and grandchildren for trying to transfer ownership to wife Gayle Benson… Continue reading →

Seattle safety Earl Thomas gives Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro a vote of confidence

New Orleans Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro (32) celebrates making an interception of a pass to Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (85) in the second quarter of the NFL game , Sunday,Nov. 30, 2014 in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

. PHOENIX — When Kenny Vaccaro was going through a rough patch late last season season that led to his role being changed by the Saints, he reached out to Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas for some words of wisdom. A fellow product of the University of Texas, Thomas has developed a relationship with Vaccaro over… Continue reading →

Out of football for 6 years before signing with the Saints, Delvin Breaux never stopped believing

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Delvin Breaux

PHOENIX — Delvin Breaux never stopped believing in himself. It didn’t matter that three broken vertebrae in his neck that kept out of football for six years or that he never played a snap of college football. He believed he belonged in the NFL and never once stopped trying to break into the league. It’s where… Continue reading →

In new court docs, Saints owner Tom Benson: Rita and Ryan LeBlanc, Renee Benson incapable of managing $1.7B empire

Associated Press photo by BILL HABER - New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson poses for a photo with his wife Gayle Benson and his granddaughter, Rita Benson LeBlanc, before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans Sept. 21.

Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson argued in a civil court filing on Tuesday that he has ample justification to make his wife Gayle the inheritor of his teams instead of relatives he had previously tapped for that role. The latest jab in Benson’s family drama came in response to a lawsuit from his daughter, Renee… Continue reading →

Sharper faces rape charges next month

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2014, file photo, former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper looks toward his attorney, Blair Berk, during an appearance in Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge set the new preliminary hearing date for Sharper, on charges that he drugged and raped two women he met at a West Hollywood nightclub. The date has been tentatively set for Feb. 17.  (AP Photo/Mario Anzuoni, Pool, File)

LOS ANGELES — A preliminary hearing for former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper on charges that he drugged and raped two women he met at a West Hollywood nightclub has been tentatively set for Feb. 17. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge set the new hearing date Tuesday after meeting privately with prosecutors and… Continue reading →

Jonathan Casillas claims both he and Chris Reis recovered Super Bowl onside kick

New England Patriots linebacker Jonathan Casillas warms up before the NFL football AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

PHOENIX — Box scores from Super Bowl XLIV credit Jonathan Casillas with recovering Thomas Morstead’s onside kick to start the second half, which helped the New Orleans take a lead over the Indianapolis Colts and propelled the Saints to victory. But in his book, “Recovery of a Lifetime,” another member of the Saints, Chris Reis,… Continue reading →

Patriots’ Brandon Bolden following in footsteps of grandfather, former Chiefs player Frank Pitts

New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden takes questions from reporters in the locker room prior to NFL football practice, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots are to face the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, Sunday, Feb. 1, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Brycen Bolden has sat in his great-grandfather’s living room more than once and been forced to watch old videos of the Super Bowl that features a much younger version the man identified by the announcers of Frank Pitts. Brycen Bolden is only 3 years old. There’s little indication he knows what he’s watching,… Continue reading →

Patriots linebacker Jonathan Casillas credits the Saints for turning him into a professional

New England Patriots linebacker Jonathan Casillas warms up before the NFL football AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

. PHOENIX — The official game book for Super Bowl XLIV credits Jonathan Casillas with recovering Thomas Morstead’s onside kick to start the second half, which helped the New Orleans Saints earn a 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. But in his book, “Recovery of a Lifetime,” another member of the Saints, Chris Reis, claims that… Continue reading →

Future Saints, Pelicans owner Gayle Benson's 18 lawsuits might raise eyebrows among NFL, NBA

Advocate staff photo by DANIEL ERATH -- . Gayle Benson

As the NFL and NBA begin the process of vetting Gayle Benson, the wife of Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson and the new proposed heir to his two sports franchises, the leagues’ officials might raise their eyebrows at one fact from her life as a businesswoman before she married Louisiana’s lone billionaire. She ended up… Continue reading →

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham would like to see the NFL's dunk ban change

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) scores a first quarter touchdown and draws a flag in a preseason game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham dunked over the goalpost twice after touchdowns in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, and now he would like to do it again during an NFL game without penalty, according to the Associated Press. "That (dunking in the game) was amazing," Graham said. "For me, it made the entire week. Hopefully, one… Continue reading →

The 2014-15 NFL season has been a season of hell for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

FILE - in this March 26, 2014, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell answers questions during a news conference in Orlando, Fla. Goodell says the league asked for, but was not given, a just-released video showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee on an elevator. Goodell says during an interview with CBS aired Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014:

. In this GQ story, Gabriel Sherman writes about the ups and mostly downs of the 2014-15 season for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and how the pro football machine he has built has misfired a few times. Click here to see the story.Continue reading →

Drew Brees: Saints have found solutions to fix 2014 problems after 'my most frustrating season'

New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees warms up before the NFL Football Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees didn't mince words at the Pro Bowl. The 7-9 campaign in 2014 "was my most frustrating season," he told Sports Illustrated. But Brees expressed confidence in coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomisa and the team's staff, saying he thinks the braintrust has identified what ailed the team… Continue reading →

New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham dunks at Pro Bowl, says maybe NFL will change dunk rule

New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham leaps to throw the ball over the goal post after scoring a touchdown during the first half of the NFL Football Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jimmy Graham showed off a healthy shoulder ... and he brought back his touchdown dunk, too. The New Orleans tight end provided relief for worried Saints fans while grabbing two touchdown passes, including the winning 1-yard catch on fourth down with 3:10 left in Sunday night’s Pro Bowl. If… Continue reading →

Lewis: Craving more Tom Benson family gossip? It’s time to grow up.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson enters the field in a preseason game between the New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Ravens at the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014.

Enjoying the Benson Family Feud? Well, who wouldn’t? You’ve got money, power and relationship issues far beyond what just about any of us would ever be involved with. You’ve got a man some have never forgiven for supposedly wanting to move the city’s most cherished institution during the time of its deepest despair —… Continue reading →

Sources: Berating assistants, often missing from work, Rita LeBlanc caused Tom Benson to worry

New Orleans Saints co-owner Rita Benson LeBlanc on the sidelines before the start of the Saints Kansas City NFL football game at the Mercedes-Benz  Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

Though she was once the apple of Tom Benson’s eye and the heir apparent to his sports franchises, Rita LeBlanc gave her grandfather plenty of reasons to worry about her ability to take over his empire upon his passing, according to some of the people who know both of them well. When Benson was well into… Continue reading →

Analysis: Jeff Ireland’s tenure in Miami was full of hits and misses

Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland watches the team during an NFL football practice, Monday, July 22, 2013, in Davie, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Jeff Ireland took a lot of heat in Miami. He probably shouldn’t have traded for and then traded away wide receiver Brandon Marshall. He paid too much for wide receiver Mike Wallace. And he burned too many picks trying to find a viable quarterback and help on the offensive line. He also never won a playoff game. Those… Continue reading →

Saints sign New Orleans native Delvin Breaux out of the CFL

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Delvin Breaux

There was a time when Delvin Breaux thought he was no longer going to play football. The multiple broken vertebrae in his neck kept him away from the game for six years and prevented him for suiting up for LSU. But on Saturday, Breaux finally pulled himself back to the place he once appeared destined to end up… Continue reading →

The NFL will play a role in the Saints' ownership succession plan

Rita Benson LeBlanc, co-owner of the New Orleans Saints, walk on the sideline before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Tom Benson can leave ownership of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans to whomever he pleases when he dies, but the decision is not entirely up to him. Under the proposed succession plan announced by Benson this week, his wife, Gayle, will succeed him as owner of the two franchises. Previously his granddaughter, Rita LeBlanc, was viewed… Continue reading →

Running back Mark Ingram says the Saints have told him that they want him back

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) celebrates his touchdown with fans in a NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in the Superdome in , La. Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Mark Ingram gets another chance to wear a New Orleans Saints helmet on Sunday when he plays in his first Pro Bowl. What happens next is uncertain, even though the running back insists the Saints want him to return following his breakout 2014 season.… Continue reading →

Video: Saints owner Tom Benson in first on-camera interview since lawsuit: I feel great, like a 50 year old

Tom Benson speaks with a FOX 8 reporter on Friday outside the Saints and Pelicans' practice facility. (Photo courtesy of FOX 8)

Source: In Rita Benson LeBlanc vs. Gayle Benson, 'This is truly sad ... people are going to be hurt'

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Layne Murdoch Jr. photographs New Orleans Pelicans GM Dell Demps, New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams, Vice Chairman of the Board of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans Rita Benson LeBlanc, Dennis Lauscha, president of Saints and Pelicans, Saints GM Mickey Loomis, and New Orleans Pelicans and Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife Gayle Benson at Pelicans Media Day in Metairie, La. Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

You’ve seen them in numerous pictures and perhaps in person, although much less frequently of late. Tom Benson, Louisiana’s richest man and owner of the state’s two major professional sports franchises, flanked by his wife, Gayle, and his granddaughter, Rita LeBlanc. But rarely just the two women, rarely side by side without Benson between them… Continue reading →

Underhill: Nothing is supposed to change with Tom Benson's ownership succession plan

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- A statute of New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson holding the Vince Lombardi trophy for Super Bowl XLIV is seen after an unveiling ceremony in September in Champions Square by the Mercedes-Benze Superdome.

Nothing is supposed to change. That was the gist of the statement released by the New Orleans Saints on Thursday morning announcing Gayle Benson and not Rita LeBlanc, who previously was considered heir to her grandfather’s throne, will take control of the NFL’s Saints and the NBA’s Pelicans when Tom Benson passes away. Those same sentiments… Continue reading →

Rabalais: Benson saga hard not to watch

New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson walks with his wife Gayle Benson, left, and co-owner Rita Benson LeBlanc before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Bill Haber) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

The lawsuits are flying, the attorneys are massing on the border and people are choosing sides for what promises to be The Battle of New Orleans II, an uncivil war between Bensons and LeBlancs for control of Louisiana’s major professional sports empire. In the middle, like children caught in the eye of a rancorous divorce, are… Continue reading →

SMG’s Doug Thornton comments on Tom Benson’s ownership succession plan

Photo by Rusty Costanza -- New Orleans Saints and Hornets owner Tom Benson smiles in front of a New Orleans Hornets display at the New Orleans Saints headquarters in  Metairie, on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012.

The last part of the comment from Doug Thornton, regional vice-president of SMG, the company which operates both the Superdome and the Smoothie King Center concerning the over the dispute between Tom Benson and his family over the future ownership of the Saints and Pelicans was omitted from the online edition of the New Orleans Advocate on Friday.… Continue reading →

Lewis: Saints embracing fresh ideas

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Saint general manager Mickey Loomis speaks at a press conference at the Saints Training Facility in Metairie, La. Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015.

MOBILE, Ala. — Fresh ideas. Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis wasn’t 30 seconds into talking about the hiring of Jeff Ireland for the team’s top personnel post — the exact title is still fuzzy — Wednesday when he said those words. And he wasn’t just talking about the scouting department. Since Senior Bowl… Continue reading →

Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman says the Patriots punishment for "deflate-gate" should exceed Saints bounty-gate punishment

If the New England Patriots are found guilty of having illegally deflated balls in last Sunday's 45-7 victory against the Indianapolis Colts, Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman has an idea of how to punish them. Aikman, speaking in an interview on The Ticket's Musers on SportsRadio 1310 AM and 96.7 FM in Dallas, said whatever the… Continue reading →

CFL cornerback Delvin Breaux will work out with Saints on Friday

Advocate staff file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Delvin Breaux

The Saints search for cornerback help will continue when the team works out Delvin Breaux on Friday. A New Orleans native, the 6-foot-1 Breaux has been with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League since 2013. He intercepted one pass and returned it for a touchdown last year. He also recovered a fumble and recorded… Continue reading →

Nick Underhill questions, answers: Saints, Tom Benson ownership succession plan good for team

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) walks off the field after their loss to the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. The Falcons won 30-14. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

. The New Orleans Advocate's Saints beat writer Nick Underhill answered your questions in a live chat about the team on Thursday. Here are some of the questions and answers. Question: Does this (Tom Benson ownership story) have any effect on the team?
Nick Underhill: Ownership changes? I think it's good news. Sounds like they want to keep the team… Continue reading →

Photos: A look at Rita Benson LeBlanc, Gayle Benson with the Saints, Pelicans over the years

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Layne Murdoch Jr. photographs New Orleans Pelicans GM Dell Demps, New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams, Vice Chairman of the Board of the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans Rita Benson LeBlanc, Dennis Lauscha, president of Saints and Pelicans, Saints GM Mickey Loomis, and New Orleans Pelicans and Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife Gayle Benson at Pelicans Media Day in Metairie, La. Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

Tom Benson’s wife, Gayle, will take control of his two sports franchises upon his death, possibly setting up a battle over the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans between Gayle and his granddaughter Rita Benson LeBlanc. Benson’s announcement was unexpected, as his granddaughter had been seen as likely to succeed him in running New Orleans’ two professional sports… Continue reading →

Live chat; ask now! Latest on the Saints' new ownership plan with Advocate sportswriter Nick Underhill

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (80) and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton watch the replay of Graham's touchdown attempt that was ruled as a stripped ball and recovery by the Atlanta Falcons in a NFL football game in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014.

. Advocate sportswriter Nick Underhill is on hand to answer all of your questions and take your comments on how and if the new ownership succession plan from Saints' owner Tom Benson will affect the team on and off the field. Click here to join the chat on mobile apps.Continue reading →

Saints and Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha: Tom Benson’s new succession plan ensures teams’ foundation of success continues

Left to right, New Orleans Hornets and New Orleans Saints media relations director Greg Bensel, general manager Mickey Loomis, New Orleans Hornets and New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife Gayle Benson, Jennifer Lauscha, wife of New Orleans Saints executive vice president Dennis Lauscha, and Dennis Lauscha, watch in the second half of an NBA basketball game between the New Orleans Hornets and the Milwaukee Bucks in New Orleans, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012.  The Hornets won 102-81. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

In his first statements since word broke that Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson had altered his succession plan, Dennis Lauscha — the president of New Orleans’ NFL and NBA franchises — on Thursday said the decision will allow the teams’ “strong foundation of success ... (to) continue.” Lauscha — who has been running the… Continue reading →

Tom Benson's new Saints, Pelicans succession plan has 'unequivocal support' from GM Mickey Loomis

New Orleans Saints and Pelicans executive vice president and general manager Mickey Loomis issued a statement Thursday morning in support of Tom Benson’s new ownership succession plan, which leaves Gayle Benson, and not granddaughter Rita Benson LeBlanc, as owner of the sports franchises in the event of his passing. “Our football and basketball operations could not ask… Continue reading →

Drew Brees: 'All I can say is I absolutely love' Gayle Benson

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton smile at Saints owner Tom Benson at a ceremony Tuesday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. A statue was unveiled of Benson holding the Vince Lombardi trophy for Super Bowl XLIV, when the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts.

At the Pro Bowl in Arizona on Thursday afternoon, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees expressed his affinity for Gayle Benson, Tom's wife and the newly named future owner of the franchise. "All I can say is I absolutely love Gayle," Brees said. "I think she's one of the sweetest people. I know she's one of our… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais: What's next for Rita Benson LeBlanc? Fabric of Tom Benson sports dynasty 'irreparably ripped'

Associated Press file photo by GERALD HERBERT -- Tom Benson poses with wife Gayle Benson, and granddaughter, Rita Benson LeBlanc before the 49ers game with the Saints in November.

Everyone expected the New Orleans Saints to make big changes this offseason. An assistant coach here. A front-office face there. A blockbuster trade, perhaps. Hardly anyone could have expected this front-office disappearance, this blockbuster, which came down Wednesday when Tom Benson revealed he will transfer ownership of the Saints and the Pelicans to his wife upon… Continue reading →