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Fleur-de-Links - Feb. 9th: Will Smith Likely to Start Season with Four-Game Suspension

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Yeah, I know New Orleans and even Gov. Bobby Jindal are still talking about that certain someone moving to Dallas, but I'm tired of discussing it and am ready to move on. All we can do is take his word for what the reasons are and see what happens when his current contract expires in two years. There's a link after the jump with several great pictures of the house he just bought. After seeing them, I can see why he and his family would want to live there. It's a beautiful place!

In other news, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled against the Vikings players involved in the Starcaps dietary supplement scandal and this now gives the league the go-ahead to enforce the four-game suspensions handed down to all players involved, including our own Will Smith. That is, unless the Williamses take the case to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which will only further delay the inevitable. Mickey Loomis made this comment about it:

"I've got a mixed reaction to it," Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said of the court's decision. "On the one hand, I think it's right and a good thing that the NFL won that case. It upholds the right of the league to have policies that affect all the clubs equally. The other side of that is if that means Will Smith gets suspend, I don't like that. That hurts our team. But that's part of the game and something we'll have to deal with."

Bummer. As many have wished for around CSC, maybe this means the Saints will look hard at drafting an elite pass rusher in the first round this year. Could this be the year Jeff Charleston breaks out? I think he has potential.

TWEETS:

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Jeff Pearlman with a spot-on take on the bane of the sports hacks' existence: the press conference:

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Good morning World. Make it a great day

 

PAYTON DOES DALLAS:

Gov. Bobby Jindal says he wishes New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton's family would stay in Louisiana | NOLA.com
A day after the Saints coach said his family will move to north Texas, Jindal said he would "take him (Payton) and the Saints organization on their word" that the coach isn't leaving the team.

New Orleans Saints, Sean Payton show unified front regarding Dallas move | NOLA.com
"I don't see myself coaching 'til I'm 60. I have other aspirations, especially as it pertains to my children," said Payton, who also shot down speculation that he and his wife, Beth, are separating because of marital problems. "The same responsibility for winning football games, I share as a father and a husband and the dreams we have as a family," Payton said.

Coach Sean Payton's decisions merit trust: A letter to the editor | NOLA.com

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, Who Dat leader, leaves his nation: A letter to the editor | NOLA.com

Link to photos of the Sean Payton house in Dallas | NOLA.com
Nice place! I'd love to live there too. The house used to belong to former Texas Rangers first baseman Mark Tiexeira

Saints endorse Sean Payton's move - NFC South Blog - ESPN
The thing that keeps coming up in the quotes is how this decision is what’s best for Payton’s family. That’s where I think people might want to back off a bit and give Payton some slack. Family is very important. We don’t know exactly what’s going on with Payton’s family -- and maybe we don’t need to know. But, if Payton thinks it’s best for his family to be in Dallas and Loomis and Benson are on board with it, then I don’t think it’s anybody’s business but Payton’s. But he also needs to be prepared for the future backlash. If the Saints struggle a little bit, the fact he's living in Dallas will be the first thing fans blame.

Payton explains how 'commute' will work - NFC South Blog - ESPN
"It’s hard to draw an analogy to commuting cause really it’s not a thing where you commute daily day-to-day,’’ Payton said. "It’s something where your family comes in on the weekends when you’re playing games. I’ll get back to Dallas on weekends in the offseason.

Some Saints fans concerned over Sean Payton's decision to move to Dallas - New Orleans News, Breaking News, Sports & Weather - FOX 8 Live WVUE-TV Channel 8
While some Saints fans see Sean Payton's decision to move to Dallas as a personal one made for the benefit of his family, others fear it could lead to Payton's eventual departure from the team.

Saints keep spinning Sean Payton’s relocation | ProFootballTalk
Florio: We initially believed that there was no reason for Saints fans to get too bent out of shape about this development. But it seems that Payton and the powers-that-be are spending too much time trying to persuade us all that the move means nothing. Which makes us think that maybe the move means something.

Northshore residents confused at Payton's decision | New Orleans News, Local News, Breaking News, Weather | wwltv.com | Videos
After the Saints announced head coach Sean Payton was buying a home in Dallas, probably the most common reaction from people in Mandeville area, where Payton lives, is confusion.

WWL AUDIO Exclusive: Coach Payton On His Purchase Of Dallas Home - WWL - AM870 | FM105.3 | News | Talk | Sports

Payton’s Place: Much ado about nothing
Anyone who feels jilted because Payton has chosen to live elsewhere for part of the year simply needs to get over it.

New Orleans Saints fans have mixed reactions to Sean Payton's decision to move to Dallas during offseason | NOLA.com
How their readers see the move

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton is committed to both his job and his family | NOLA.com
"I don't see myself coaching 'til I'm 60. I have other aspirations, especially as it pertains to my children," said Payton, whose family has always hoped to one day settle in the Westlake suburb of Dallas, near where they lived from 2003-2005.

New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis has no concerns about Sean Payton's 'commitment and passion for the Saints' | NOLA.com
"Listen, I know Sean's commitment and passion for the Saints and coaching this team. So that's unquestioned," said Loomis, who understands the arrangement from personal experience. He moved away from his own children when he originally left Seattle to join the Saints' front office.

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton discusses family's move to Dallas area | NOLA.com
"Really, it's not a thing where you commute day to day," Payton explained. "Your family comes in for the weekends when you're playing games. I'll get back to Dallas on the weekends in the offseason. We have our time as a family during the summer down at the beach. And I really look at it as far as a time management thing, something that will be easy for me to handle. I'll have more time at the office as far as in season, because I won't be trying to get back and forth, certainly on a day to day basis."

 

SAINTS:

Will Smith suspension could be coming - NFC South Blog - ESPN
The StarCaps saga that’s been playing out for more than two years finally could end up with New Orleans defensive end Will Smith serving a four-game suspension.

Minnesota ruling brings New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith back in the spotlight | NOLA.com
His four-game suspension has been on hold for more than two years

 

CBA TALKS:

NFL, union meeting Wednesday, Thursday | ProFootballTalk
Trey Wingo of ESPN reports that the two sides are meeting in Washington over the next two days to work toward striking a new labor deal. On Wednesday, the meeting is scheduled to go from 10:00 a.m. ET to 7:00 p.m. ET. On Thursday, a shorter five-hour session is planned, from 9:00 a.m. ET to 2:00 p.m. ET.

Mike McCarthy gives a coaching view on the 18-game season | ProFootballTalk
"I know what the company line is, but you are talking to a guy that barely made it through 16 games, so you can figure it out for yourself," McCarthy said.

 

AROUND THE LEAGUE:

LeCharles Bentley: Super Bowl insults the masses | NOLA.com
"Maybe I am naïve to believe that this game that grew into a business should position itself above the fray of the almighty dollar and represent who represents them. But after this past Super Bowl became the most-watched television show in the history of television those same people that made this possible have to sit around and wonder if there will even be a Super Bowl next year."

NFL offers displaced Super Bowl ticket holders two options | NOLA.com
Commissioner Goodell has initiated a complete review of the matter, including all seating and stadium entrance issues, to determine where the breakdowns occurred.

Fans Sue NFL, Cowboys Stadium, Jerry Jones Over Super Bowl 45 Seat Issue
DALLAS — Football fans have filed a lawsuit accusing the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys and team owner Jerry Jones of deceiving hundreds of people who bought Super Bowl tickets and had no seats, or got seats they felt were inadequate. The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Dallas alleges breach of contract, fraud and deceptive sales practices.

NFL.com news: 2011 playoff picture could look very different

Early predictions for the 2011 NFL season, who will make the playoffs? | NOLA.com
Saints beat writer Mike Triplett agrees with NFL.com's Steve Wyche that New Orleans Saints will return to the playoffs