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New Orleans Times Picayune Writer Jim Varney: The Saints Cannot Regain Fans’ Trust After Bounty Gate

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The Drive Wednesday 3-21-12-New Orleans Times writer Jim Varney talks about the NFL sanctions against the New Orleans Saints and whether or not the team can bounce back from all the negativity regarding bounty gate.

Varney joked that there were vicious storms in New Orleans tearing apart an already scandalized town.  Until the NFL sanctions landed, the Saints hoped 2012 would be the chance to be a team with a hometown appearance in a Super Bowl, but now that seems unlikely.

“Of course this all comes down when we are under vicious tornado warnings…it is like God is not to pleased with what happened…the Assistant Head Coach and Linebacker Coach is also suspended for the first six games of the season.  The Saints are going to enter the 2012 season with a coaching staff that is in shambles…they were hoping this would be the first time ever an NFL team was the home team in the Super Bowl [but with all of this], the chances of that happening [are not likely].”

 Varney said the fans are taking the sanctions especially hard, believing they are being targeted for something many teams admitted to doing.  Varney said the NFL is not trying to make an example of the Saints.

“The fans feel like…their team is being made an example of…former players have come forward and said this has happened on many situations…Goodell said this is a much more sinister thing that happened…it is an unusual and egregious situation, what the NFL is really handling them on is that, and secondly,…disregard of the league’s efforts to clean it up.  Those are what compounded the issue…

Varney said another point of contention for Saints fans will be whether or not the current Bounty Gate battles will affect contract negotiations with Quarterback Drew Brees.  Varney is concerned Brees may not want to associate with the team because all of the charges dropped on the team will affect their ability to be strong Super Bowl contenders.

“The league isn’t done with the Saints…it might affect contract negotiations with Drew Brees…paying someone for what the league believes are knockout or hard off hits, that is the whole diabolical part of this.  That and the cover up that has led to those harsh punishments…There is at least four different quarterbacks that they targeted…examples where they are deliberately trying to hurt people…that will not be tolerated…There is no official response at all, but [the Saints] have to be just simmering over their chances…I don’t know how you can regain the fans’ trust if this ends up jeopardizing the contract negotiations with Brees and ruins one of the best teams the city has ever had after decades [of disappointment]“

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