Reached for comment regarding the statements made by former director of security Geoffrey Santini in his first interview regarding a lawsuit filed against the team, Saints lawyer Phil Wittmann opted to say nothing. “As we are in litigation with Mr. Santini, I feel that we should proceed with the legal process and not make any media comments at this time,” Wittman told USA Today.
Saints owner Tom Benson recently had an opportunity to say the same thing. He didn’t.
“I can’t tell you exactly how I feel about that,” Benson told Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News, “but it’s a typical type of somebody that isn’t happy, and they file suit on you. I better not say anything more or I’ll get myself in trouble.”
And then he said more.
“I will say it’s sort of the fact [Santini] resigned and then we won the Super Bowl,” Benson said. “I’d be unhappy too if I had resigned, and [team president] Rita [Benson LeBlanc] had won the Super Bowl.”
Benson’s explanation overlooks the fact that Santini and his former lawyer had attempted to settle Santini’s claims -- for a payment far less than the amount more recently demanded -- in September, long before the Saints had even secured a playoff berth. And if Santini wanted to be truly disruptive and vindictive, he could have filed his lawsuit the week before the Super Bowl, in the hopes of creating the kind of distraction for coach Sean Payton and linebackers coach Joe Vitt that potentially could have derailed the eventual victory.
Benson also let another cat out of the bag -- he said that quarterback Drew Brees’ family will be growing. “They’re expecting another baby, we were just informed today,” Benson said. “His wife, Brittany, called and said it’s another boy. I don’t know if it’s out yet. You might be the first ones to hear that. I hope we are not spilling the beans on them. They didn’t tell us to keep it a secret.”
Apparently, it’s a good thing that they didn’t.