NFC South Notes: Saints, Ingram, Falcons

The Saints’ ownership situation has officially turned ugly — after learning last night that owner Tom Benson had transferred ownership of the Saints (and the NBA’s Pelicans) after he dies to his wife, Gayle, his granddaughter, Rita Benson LeBlanc, has filed a lawsuit, claiming Benson is mentally incompetent and is being manipulated by his wife, according to the Times-Picayune, who provide a copy of the suit in PDF form. Benson himself has responded to the suit, tweets Mike Triplett of “The false accusations in this suit further support the actions I have taken in changing the succession and transfer of ownership.” It’s a sad situation, but one that has on-the-field implications, as Jason La Canfora of notes (Twitter links) that GM Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton’s jobs would have been in jeopardy had LeBlanc taken over; the duo reportedly has much better relationship with the new designee, Gayle. Here’s more from the NFC South…

  • Along with DeMarco Murray, Saints running Mark Ingram will be at the top of the free agent running back class, but his preference is to remain in New Orleans, writes Katherine Terrell of the Times-Picayune. “I want to be a Saint. I was drafted there. I’m always appreciative and grateful for that,” said Ingram. “…Of course there’s always that ‘what if you go somewhere and you could be the main guy and do everything’, but I love the Saints and want to be a Saint.” Ingram indicated that he hadn’t spoken with team representatives since his end-of-season meeting, but said club officials told him at that time they’d like to retain him.
  • CFL free agent Delvin Breaux will audition for the Saints on Friday, according to Evan Woodbery of the Times-Picayune. Breaux, a New Orleans native, isn’t eligible to sign with an NFL team until February 10, like all CFL players.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap examines the Saints’ 2015 cap situation — he projects them to be roughly $25MM in the red heading into the offseason, and suggest they could release veterans Jahri Evans and Curtis Lofton to save cap space.
  • The Falcons are right to wait on Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, opines Field Yates of ESPN (Insider subscription required). Quinn will make good use of the Atlanta’s talented young corners, writes Yates, but the club will need to find a impact pass-rusher and depth along the defensive line.
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