Juan's World: Losing A Leader

Juan's World: Losing A Leader

(WVUE) - Welcome in to Juan's World, where I've been disappointed again with a decision made by one of our professional sports franchises.

First it was the Pelicans getting rid of Monty Williams. And today, the Saints essentially did the same to Tight-End Benjamin Watson. He wasn't fired but by not offering him a new contract, it feels like he was let go for all of the wrong reasons.

Its the second time in a year that New Orleans sports fans have watched a leader on and off the playing field get sent away because someone got them to believe that a better option is out there.

The news of Watson moving on to the Baltimore Ravens hit me harder than it probably should have. After all, he's been in the NFL for a while now and I get it. At the end of the day, its all about the money and how a team values you. The Saints, while they love what Watson did for them for three years, had to make the tough financial decision. Again, I get it.

But, my disappointment with Watson going away is the same as it was for Williams. And it has less to do with sports than it does with what's more important than sports. Life.

I've been fortunate in my life to actually listen to athletes that get it and, in Watson and Williams, you had two guys that 'got it'. Both understood that outside of their athletic circle was always something more important going on. Both were able to compartmentalize what they did on a daily basis, at work, at home and out and about.

Living in the city of New Orleans where gun shots ring out on a daily basis, where mental health issues are a very real issue, where life's problems are usually much heavier than the problems they face while on the playing field, Watson and Williams refused to sugar coat what they saw and how it made them feel.

To say that both guys were the perfect guys to have in a locker room, is a huge understatement. even if they weren't as talented today as they were yesterday, their locker room presence should've been enough to wanna keep them around.

Williams was told to go away by a General Manager that believed the team needed someone that could take them to the next level. I don't need to remind you how much Dell Demps plan has failed thus far.

Watson was allowed to enter free agency for one final big pay day and he's gonna get it. A 35-year old getting a two year deal for $8 million. The Saints never would've been able to offer that. Not with their salary cap issues, so Watson was deemed expendable. Again, the bottom line matters in pro sports so I get it.

But, no one can tell me that the city of New Orleans is better off today without Ben Watson than it was yesterday when Watson was still a Saint. You can tell me that the Crescent City is better this March without Monty Williams than they were last March when Monty was here and leading this team to the playoffs.

They say things come in threes, right? So I'm bracing for what comes next because I don't like what's already taken place.

Juan's World, Juan's World, Excellent!!!

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