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Saints News, 1/23/15: Saints Players Shocked By Team's Ownership Squabble

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From PFT.com: “This is the first I’m hearing of it,” quarterback Drew Brees said, via Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I’ll have to go and read.”...“I absolutely love Gayle, I think she’s one of the sweetest people,” Brees said. “I know she’s one of our biggest fans. Her presence at practice with Tom … and the way she treats the wives and the players, she’s first class. She’s been great.” Tight end Jimmy Graham echoed those sentiments. “Gayle Benson is one of the sweetest ladies I’ve ever met in my entire life,” he said. “Every day she comes to practice and gives me a smile and a big hug. She emulates everything that Tom Benson has done with the franchise, and I’m excited for her.”

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Saints players shocked by ownership squabble between Benson family <a href="http://t.co/hRHaPy8xWm">http://t.co/hRHaPy8xWm</a></p>&mdash; ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) <a href="https://twitter.com/ProFootballTalk/status/558612336408539136">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Saints?src=hash">#Saints</a> news from Pro Bowl: Jimmy Graham still testing shoulder, Mark Ingram say he and Saints both want him back <a href="http://t.co/GF5rUpXZXU">http://t.co/GF5rUpXZXU</a></p>&mdash; Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeTriplett/status/558624645956784128">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I&#39;ve heard more nonsense over last few days about the footballs from people who never threw one &amp; yet seem to have all the answers! Amazing</p>&mdash; Rich Gannon (@RichGannon12) <a href="https://twitter.com/RichGannon12/status/558623004448788481">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Congrats to our neighbor: <a href="https://twitter.com/PelicansNBA">@PelicansNBA</a>&#39;s <a href="https://twitter.com/AntDavis23">@AntDavis23</a> on being named a starter for the <a href="https://twitter.com/NBA">@NBA</a> All-Star Game! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NOLA?src=hash">#NOLA</a> <a href="http://t.co/92LnxsRVSw">pic.twitter.com/92LnxsRVSw</a></p>&mdash; New Orleans Saints (@Saints) <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints/status/558612324064313345">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>NFLPA filed expedited grievance vs NFL to challenge NFL’s adoption of new "Personal Conduct Policy". NFLPA seeking cease and desist order.</p>&mdash; Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) <a href="https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/558606731241332737">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Also, people need to stop mocking the story/investigation by saying it&#39;s about &quot;deflated balls.&quot; It&#39;s not. It&#39;s about a pattern of behavior.</p>&mdash; Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) <a href="https://twitter.com/AlbertBreer/status/558597952437252096">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Nice meeting you! <a href="https://twitter.com/brandincooks">@brandincooks</a> <a href="http://t.co/1AiVjRAJBD">pic.twitter.com/1AiVjRAJBD</a></p>&mdash; cameron (@cjwalkerrr) <a href="https://twitter.com/cjwalkerrr/status/558503236806512640">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Coming off his best NFL season...&#10;&#10;<a href="https://twitter.com/MarkIngram22">@MarkIngram22</a> hopes to continue career with the <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints">@Saints</a>: <a href="http://t.co/YY6e5w2DHM">http://t.co/YY6e5w2DHM</a> <a href="http://t.co/fpnYJaGbky">pic.twitter.com/fpnYJaGbky</a></p>&mdash; NFL (@nfl) <a href="https://twitter.com/nfl/status/558496871065616385">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Someone I really look up too <a href="https://twitter.com/brandincooks">@brandincooks</a> <a href="http://t.co/pWF6elkNKB">pic.twitter.com/pWF6elkNKB</a></p>&mdash; Shawn (@Shawn_w77) <a href="https://twitter.com/Shawn_w77/status/558482416201789441">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Family pic w a 120 lb green anaconda at the Pro Bowl party tonight. All kinds of cool stuff for the kids. <a href="http://t.co/CXKJE2sWcp">pic.twitter.com/CXKJE2sWcp</a></p>&mdash; Drew Brees (@drewbrees) <a href="https://twitter.com/drewbrees/status/558483340617981952">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I&#39;m so slow yall, I just got an AmazonPrime account!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/shoppingupastorm?src=hash">#shoppingupastorm</a></p>&mdash; Curtis Lofton (@CurtisLofton50) <a href="https://twitter.com/CurtisLofton50/status/558481958691696643">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Tom Benson vows to fight lawsuit filed by family members over change in will regarding Saints and Pelicans <a href="http://t.co/4VRbysO72X">http://t.co/4VRbysO72X</a></p>&mdash; ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) <a href="https://twitter.com/ProFootballTalk/status/558474615178420226">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Full statement RT <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints">@Saints</a>: Statement From <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Saints?src=hash">#Saints</a> Owner/Chairman of the Board Tom Benson <a href="http://t.co/zgMMh1T81E">http://t.co/zgMMh1T81E</a> <a href="http://t.co/ihYiKOoqOv">pic.twitter.com/ihYiKOoqOv</a></p>&mdash; Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeTriplett/status/558459943531991040">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Benson: &quot;Their allegations regarding my mental health are completely meritless and their allegations against my wife equally unfounded.&quot;</p>&mdash; Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeTriplett/status/558459740741574656">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Benson: The false accusations in this suit further support the actions I have taken in changing the succession and transfer of ownership.</p>&mdash; Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeTriplett/status/558459883196919808">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Here&#39;s Tom Benson&#39;s full statement in response to civil suit from family <a href="http://t.co/RJjMUnkCom">pic.twitter.com/RJjMUnkCom</a></p>&mdash; Lyons Yellin WWL-TV (@LyonsYellin) <a href="https://twitter.com/LyonsYellin/status/558453261728903169">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Teaching Bowen to throw darts. Kid is a natural! <a href="http://t.co/EuwTSlvBQu">pic.twitter.com/EuwTSlvBQu</a></p>&mdash; Drew Brees (@drewbrees) <a href="https://twitter.com/drewbrees/status/558450196447637504">January 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/thomasmorstead">@thomasmorstead</a> wanted to take a picture with me today. Thanks for stopping by ol&#39; Tom. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JK?src=hash">#JK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/saints?src=hash">#saints</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NOLA?src=hash">#NOLA</a> <a href="http://t.co/N8TOsFSiZM">pic.twitter.com/N8TOsFSiZM</a></p>&mdash; Abby Thibodaux (@abbythib) <a href="https://twitter.com/abbythib/status/558386346322956289">January 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Ha! Jeff Duncan just uttered the phrase &quot;I can&#39;t make a judgment.&quot; Must still be waiting on the marching orders.</p>&mdash; Fred DiBiase (@moosedenied) <a href="https://twitter.com/moosedenied/status/558407511515365376">January 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Bobby drops a &quot;gold digger&quot; and Deke springs into &quot;Goddammit Bobby, hold up before you get us into some shit&quot; mode. Close call there.</p>&mdash; Fred DiBiase (@moosedenied) <a href="https://twitter.com/moosedenied/status/558404799461621762">January 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Saints News

Saints players shocked by team’s ownership squabble | ProFootballTalk
Admittedly, it's a confusing story. But Saints players were shocked by the news that owner Tom Benson was changing his will, to take control of his assets out of the hands of his daughter and granddaughter and into the hands of his current wife.

Expert: Proving Benson in poor mental health won't be easy
a lawsuit filed today in Orleans Civil District Court claims Benson is in poor physical and mental health and not competent to make decisions on behalf of the Saints, Pelicans and his other business interests.

In fight over Tom Benson's fortune, Texas judge temporarily freezes assets | NOLA.com
A Texas judge has ordered a temporary freeze on the money and assets in a trust controlled by New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson, an order requested by his daughter, Renee Benson. The temporary restraining order, signed by Judge Thomas E. Rickhoff of Bexar County on Wednesday (Jan. 21), prevents Benson from withdrawing, transferring or otherwise diminishing the value of the Shirley L. Benson Testamentary Trust.  Tom Benson's longtime wife Shirley died in 1980 from lupus. On Thursday, Renee Benson and her children Rita and Ryan LeBlanc filed a lawsuit in New Orleans claiming that Tom Benson is incompetent to control the Saints and Pelicans sports empire. The move came after Tom Benson on Wednesday announced that his wife, Gayle, not his granddaughter Rita, should take over the clubs after he dies.  According to the lawsuit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court, Renee Benson has worked closely with her father in managing his business interests, including serving as president and owner of Renson Enterprises LLC in San Antonio, which manages several Benson family auto-dealerships. She has also served as vice chairman of Bensco Inc., a subsidiary that owns dealerships, the lawsuit said. On Jan. 7, Benson "purportedly instructed" all...

As Benson family feud explodes in court, battle over nearly $2 billion fortune begins | NOLA.com
The suit was filed one day after Tom Benson unexpectedly announced plans to transfer future ownership of the clubs to his wife, Gayle

Statement From New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans Owner/Chairman of the Board Tom Benson
Mr. Benson released the statement Thursday evening

Benson vows to fight lawsuit filed by disgruntled family members | ProFootballTalk
On Wednesday, Saints owner Tom Benson announced a dramatic change in plans for the ownership of his NFL and NBA teams after his passing. On Thursday, three family members who no longer will inherit control of the teams filed a lawsuit claiming that Mr. Benson lacks the competence to alter his will.

Saints eye defenders at Senior Bowl | Mississippi State | The Sun Herald
The best defense against a good offense is an even better pass rush.

Free Agency: Who will join the Saints: Part 2 Defense | The Saints Nation

New Orleans Saints offensive assistant Frank Smith to Bears, Carter Sheridan in play at Tulane | NOLA.com
Smith joined the Saints in 2010, working primarily with offensive line coach Bret Ingalls.

Mark Ingram: Yes, the New Orleans Saints want me back | NOLA.com
He received his first Pro Bowl berth

Mickey Loomis: Saints letting Junior Galette case run its course before taking any action | ProFootballTalk
Saints linebacker Junior Galette faces a charge of simple battery involving domestic violence after an incident at his house earlier this month, but the Saints won't be making any move to place him on the Comissioner-Exempt list.

Saints news from Pro Bowl: Jimmy Graham’s shoulder, Mark Ingram’s contract - New Orleans Saints Blog - ESPN
Meanwhile, in some actual football-related New Orleans Saints news, NOLA.com’s Katherine Terrell posted some interesting nuggets while covering

Aikman: Patriots' punishment should exceed Saints' in bounty scandal - CBSSports.com

"Sean Payton did not cheat," Aikman explained. "There was nothing that Sean Payton and the Saints did that was illegal. And they did not give themselves a competitive edge. I maintain, regardless of whatever was said in the locker room, and in that locker room, is not anything different than what's been said in any other locker room around the league. There's no proof on the field of what took place that guys were targeting players. You can always pull out a play here and there. They were one of the least penalized teams for unsportsmanlike conduct. So there was no evidence that anything translated to the field that they were trying to hurt players. And they did not give themselves a competitive advantage.

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NFL News

Deflategate leads all three network newscasts | ProFootballTalk
Deflategate is a lot more than just a football story. Four days after the AFC Championship Game, the question of whether the Patriots illegally deflated footballs is still the most talked-about story in America. In fact, all three broadcast networks led their evening newscasts with the story.

NFL goes radio silent regarding #DeflateGate | ProFootballTalk
Early in the life of #DeflateGate, the process had more leaks than a guy on the brink of 50 who drank too much water too close to going to bed.  (I can relate.)  The information presumably was coming from the folks conducting the investigation, i.e., the NFL.

NFL investigators have visited Browns over in-game texting | ProFootballTalk
The investigation involving the Patriots and deflated footballs isn't the only game-integrity probe currently happening in the NFL. The league also is exploring whether texts were received or sent by members of the Browns' coaching staff during games.

Marshawn Lynch "embarrassed to work for" the NFL over fines | ProFootballTalk
Marshawn Lynch rarely has anything to say to the media, but he had something interesting to say on Twitter. Lynch, who has been fined many times and has been threatened with more fines over issues ranging from crotch-grabbing touchdown celebrations to the color shoes he wears to his refusal to pa...