New Orleans Saints Wiretap

Tom Benson Testifies Estranged Heirs Tried To Kill Him

May 19, 2016 8:55 PM

Tom Benson has testified that his estranged heirs tried to kill him.

Benson petitioned to prevent the New Orleans Saints or New Orleans Pelicans to pass to his daughter and her children.

“They tried to kill me for one thing,” Benson said. Asked to explain further, Benson said, “You know by picking on my wife and when I wasn’t feeling very good they were very hostile.”

Benson specifically referred to a December 2014 incident in which his wife, Gayle Benson, was physically assaulted at a Saints game. A prior report indicated that granddaughter Rita Benson LeBlanc accosted Gayle Benson. Tom Benson testified that his daughter, Renee, was the aggressor.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tags: New Orleans Saints

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Terron Armstead, Saints Agree Upon Five-Year Extension

May 3, 2016 8:21 PM

The New Orleans Saints have agreed upon a five-year extension with Terron Armstead.

"There's not a left tackle I would trade him for in the league," coach Sean Payton raved in late December. "I really like the way he's progressed. He's smart, he's athletic. And last week if you watch the tape, you can see that he's not 100 percent and he fights through it."

Originally viewed as a developmental prospect coming out of tiny Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Armstead already has the look of a perennial Pro Bowl left tackle.

Chris Wesseling/

Tags: New Orleans Saints, Misc Rumor, Signing

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Drew Brees Takes Aim At Roger Goodell

Apr 27, 2016 1:00 AM

Drew Brees took aim at the disciplinary power of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday when asked for his reaction to the league's Deflategate penalties against Tom Brady being reinstated by a federal appeals court.

The Saints quarterback said Goodell's ability to serve as "judge, jury and executioner" has been a "black eye" for the NFL.

"I think we would all agree that he definitely has too much power," Brees told

Tags: New Orleans Saints, Misc Rumor

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Josh Norman Agrees To Sign With Washington

Apr 22, 2016 7:40 PM

Josh Norman has agreed to sign with Washington on a five-year, $75 million deal.

The Carolina Panthers rescinded the franchise tag on Norman this week, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Norman also considered the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints.

Norman emerged in 2015 as one of the NFL's best cornerbacks. 

By moving to the NFC East, Norman will continue his rivalry with Odell Beckham Jr. twice per season (Week 3 & Week 17 in 2016).

Ian Rapoport/

Tags: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Signing

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Josh Norman Deciding Between Washington, New Orleans

Apr 22, 2016 6:50 PM

Josh Norman is meeting with Washington but the New Orleans Saints are also making a strong push to sign him.

The San Francisco 49ers were also one of the frontrunners to sign Norman, but his decision is now down to Washington and New Orleans.

The Carolina Panthers rescinded the franchise tag to Norman this week.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Will Smith Was Shot Seven Times In Back

Apr 13, 2016 4:10 PM

Will Smith's wife, Racquel, was shot twice in the legs before Smith himself was shot eight times, according to the family's attorney.

The New Orleans coroner confirmed Wednesday that Smith was shot eight times -- seven in the back and once in the chest.

Coroner Jeffrey Rouse said in a statement that preliminary autopsy results revealed "seven of these wounds were penetrating in nature, with projectiles recovered and no corresponding exit wounds.

"These bullet tracks had entrance into the left upper back (1), left mid-back (2), left lower back (3), and left lateral chest wall (1). Many of these bullets perforated vital organs, including the lungs and heart.

"One of these wounds was a perforating wound, with both an entrance and an exit wound. This bullet entered the left upper back, traversed soft tissue, and exited from the right shoulder area."

Police and attorneys for both sides all agree that Smith was shot by Cardell Hayes on Saturday night after a traffic collision and a heated exchange of words between Smith and Hayes outside of their vehicles. Hayes has been booked with second-degree murder, with charges still pending.

The two sides, however, have painted different pictures about who was the aggressor in the argument.

Thomson described Hayes as being "enraged" after he violently slammed into Smith's vehicle from behind. 

Mike Triplett/ESPN

Tags: New Orleans Saints

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Sean Payton Speaks Out About Gun Control After Death Of Will Smith

Apr 11, 2016 7:16 PM

Sean Payton spoke about about the lack of gun control in the United States just days after Will Smith was murdered in New Orleans.

“If this opinion in Louisiana is super unpopular,” Payton told USA TODAY Sports in a 33-minute phone conversation on Monday, his first interview since Will Smith’s death, “so be it.”

Smith was killed and his wife was wounded during an argument after a traffic accident.

“Two hundred years from now, they’re going to look back and say, ‘What was that madness about?’ “ Payton said. “The idea that we need them to fend off intruders … people are more apt to draw them (in other situations). That’s some silly stuff we’re hanging onto.”

The subject of gun control has been a major part of the United States' political dialogue since the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.

“I’m not an extreme liberal,” Payton said. “I find myself leaning to the right on some issues. But on this issue, I can’t wrap my brain around it.”

Jarrett Bell/ESPN

Tags: New Orleans Saints

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Will Smith Killed In Shooting

Apr 10, 2016 2:59 AM

Will Smith was killed in a shooting late on Saturday night in New Orleans at the age of 34.

Smith was a former defensive end of the New Orleans Saints who hadn't played since 2013.

Smith was found dead slumped over the steering wheel of a silver vehicle.

Smith's wife was shot twice in the leg in the incident, which reportedly began as a fender bender.

Wilborn P. Nobles III/Times Picayune

Tags: New Orleans Saints

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Tim Hightower Re-Signs With Saints

Apr 8, 2016 4:19 PM

Tim Hightower has agreed to re-sign with the New Orleans Saints.

Hightower had been out of the NFL since 2011 after tearing his ACL that October.

Hightower averaged 114 yards from scrimmages in his final four games of 2015.

"When I went down, I wrote down on a sheet of paper that this wouldn't be the end for me," Hightower explained last February, after signing a futures contract with New Orleans. "... It was a long process. But I don't think I ever stopped training. I don't think I ever stopped working toward this goal. As I trained, as I did rehab, as I went to the different surgeries, I just tried to keep that end picture in mind."

Hightown turns 30 next month.

Katherine Terrell/Times Picayune

Tags: New Orleans Saints, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Signing

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Mark Ingram Agrees To Restructured Contract With Saints

Mar 30, 2016 2:30 PM

Mark Ingram and the New Orleans Saints have agreed to a restructured contract.

Ingram was slated to make $3 million in base salary in 2016; now he'll make $765,000, with the remaining $2.235 million converted to signing bonus.

Ingram's salary cap number would grow by $745,000 in 2017 and 2018. His cap number will now be $5.245 million in 2017 and $6.245 in 2018.

Evan Woodbery/Times-Picayune

Tags: New Orleans Saints, Misc Rumor

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Nick Fairley Signs With Saints
Nick Fairley spent last season with the Rams.

Jared Dubin/CBS Sports

Saints Match Josh Hill's Offer Sheet With Bears
Josh Hill's deal is worth up to $7.5 million over three years, with $3.25 million guaranteed.

Mike Triplett/ESPN

Sean Payton Signs Five-Year, $45M Extension With Saints
Sean Payton was already one of the NFL's highest-paid coaches at $8.5 million in his previous deal, which ran through 2017.

Mike Triplett/ESPN

Drew Brees' AdvoCare Drawing Pyramid Scheme Concerns
Drew Brees is the leading spokesman of AdvoCare, a multilevel marketing company that generated $719 million in net revenue last year.

Mina Kimes/ESPN

Saints To Release Marques Colston
Marques Colston caught 45 passes for 520 yards in 13 games in 2015.

Mike Triplett/ESPN (via Josh Alper/Pro Football Talk)

Drew Brees Has $10.85M Of His $20M For 2016 Now Guaranteed
Drew Brees had $10.85 million of his $20 million salary for the 2016 season guaranteed effective on Wednesday.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Saints Cut Jahri Evans
The Saints will save $3.1 million against the cap by releasing Jahri Evans, who is considered one of the best players in franchise history.

Mike Triplett/ESPN

Patriots, Panthers Have Best 2016 Super Bowl Odds (All Teams Listed)
The Broncos have the ninth best odds at 18-1.

Oskar Garcia/AP

Sean Payton Decides To Stay With Saints
There were several teams interested in trading for Sean Payton.

Mike Triplett/ESPN

Seahawks Lead NFL In DVOA For 4th Straight Season (Infographic)
The Seahawks, Bengals, Cardinals, Panthers and Chiefs finished the 2015 regular season in the top-10 in both Offensive and Defensive DVOA.

RealGM Staff Report

Colts Expressed Interest In Sean Payton Before Extending Pagano
Sean Payton and Saints brass met extensively Monday to discuss his future in New Orleans.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Drew Brees Fully Expects To Remain With Saints In 2016
Drew Brees says he and Sean Payton will return to the Saints in 2016.

Conor Orr/

Sean Payton Sees Himself Remaining With Saints Long-Term
Sean Payton insists he won't leave the Saints this offseason.

Marc Sessler/

Drew Brees Has Torn Plantar Fascia In Right Foot
Drew Brees has a torn plantar fascia in his right foot but he intends to finish out the remaining two weeks of the season.

Ed Werder/ESPN

Joey Bosa, Paxton Lynch Go 1st, 2nd In First McShay Draft
Todd McShay has Joey Bosa going first overall to the Titans in his initial mock for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Todd McShay/ESPN

Mark Ingram Out For Season With Shoulder Injury
Mark Ingram had rushed 166 times for 769 yards and six touchdowns this season for the Saints.

RealGM Staff Report

Saints Promote Dennis Allen To Defensive Coordinator
The Saints attempted to simplify Rob Ryan's scheme in the offseason, and brought in a number of promising young rookies.

Katherine Terrell/Times Picayune

Rob Ryan Fired By Saints As Defensive Coordinator
Rob Ryan became defensive coordinator of the Saints in 2013.

Alex Marvez/Fox Sports

Saints Lead NFL In Dead Money On Cap
The Saints have four of the 20 worst dead money deals in the NFL and $32.6 million in total, which is the highest in the league.

Will Laws/Sports Illustrated

Saints On Pace For Fewest Points, Deep Passes In Payton-Brees Era
The Saints' offense looks entirely different this year, focused on ball-control.

Mike Triplett/ESPN