New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis Thursday denied eavesdropping on opposing coaches during NFL games or even knowing that he could have done so.
Loomis reacted to an ESPN report last week that said wiring in Loomis’s suite at the Superdome, the Saints‘ home stadium, allowed him to listen to opposing coaches, which would be a violation of federal law as well as NFL rules.
“I’m angry about it,” Loomis said. “It’s not true. I have a clear conscience.”
Loomis said he has not been contacted by the FBI or state officials about the eavesdrop report but would welcome such a probe to prove the claims were unfounded.
“In my 29 years in the NFL, I have never listened to an opposing team’s communications,” Loomis said. “I have never asked for the capability to listen to an opposing team’s communications.
“I have never inquired as to the possibility of listening in on an opposing team’s communications. And I have never been aware of any capability to listen in on an opposing team’s communications at the Superdome or any NFL stadium.”
The Saints, whose home stadium will host next year’s Super Bowl, have already been hit hard with sanctions for a bounty scheme that rewarded players for knocking opponents out of games.
NFL officials are still deciding upon punishments for players who were involved in the pay-for-injury system, but Saints coach Sean Payton was banned for the entire upcoming NFL season.
Loomis was suspended for eight games and assistant coach Joe Vitt for six games. Vitt will serve as Payton’s replacement once his suspension is completed.
“We will be a better league and the Saints will be a better team for having faced this,” Loomis said.
For now, Loomis said, the Saints’ top priority is signing a new contract with star quarterback Drew Brees, who last year had the greatest passing season in NFL history.
“It’s the most important contract we have to do,” Loomis said. “It will get resolved.”
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