Trying to justify the managerial decisions in New Orleans is about as easy as getting Rob Gronkowski to wear pants that weren’t popularized 20 years ago. Joe Vitt is a fine football mind and a quality leader, but naming him the head coach adds unnecessary confusion and disorganization to a situation that’s already a steaming mess.

Vitt has been temporarily promoted to replace Sean Payton because of his leadership skills. His familiarity with Payton’s offensive scheme and the way he runs a championship-caliber organization were evidently so strong that Saints owner Tom Benson was willing look past the fact that his coach will be gone for six weeks due to his own Bountygate suspension.

Alright fine, fair enough, Tom, we can agree to disagree, because I know you’re a passionate GLS reader, and you highly respect my opinion. But if Vitt’s job is to use his superior leadership skills to make sure that the impact of Payton’s absence is minimized, it would be wise to have the entire team present for offseason training activities. Vitt will then have four months to work his magic with a full roster before he has to disappear for six weeks.

The first session of offseason training activities starts Monday, and one player who’s kind of really important likely won’t be in attendance.

Continuity and cohesiveness are two key elements that will pull the Saints through a historic punishment. There are times to stubbornly negotiate, and this isn’t one of them.

Brees was given the franchise tag at the tagging deadline, and he was about as happy with that outcome as a kid who learns that all the Happy Meal toys are sold out. He wants a long-term commitment, and as a record-setting quarterback who was one of three pivots to throw for over 5,000 yards last year, he definitely deserves one. The problem, of course, is that he’s 33, and although elite quarterbacks often perform at a high level well into their late 30s, Peyton Manning’s injury has injected a scary dose of reality throughout the league.

During normal times, playing a bit of hardball would be acceptable for that reason alone. But again, these are far from normal times in The Big Easy, and Brees, the dedicated on-field leader who organized player-only workouts during the lockout, needs to be alongside Vitt this offseason to provide further stability.

And now you want to know the rest of the story…

  • Apparently it wasn’t Jabar Gaffney who lost his damn mind yesterday on Twitter, and he’s now deleted his account after claiming he was the victim of a hacker. Of course your account was hacked, Jabar. Whenever anyone remotely notable says something stupid or controversial on Twitter, it’s always the hacker, not them. [D.C. Sports Bog]
  • If anyone needs Brees you’ll be able to find him chillin’ with the ponies at the race track, where his horse is hoping to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. [New York Daily News]
  • Osi Umenyiora still wants a new contract, and he wouldn’t mind getting his starting job back too. [Newark Star-Ledger]
  • I’m not sure if we’ve written this before, but April is a time when I wouldn’t even believe what my own mother told me if she happened to be involved in an NFL front office, in which case she’d be the best mom ever. That said, it’s still at least mildly surprising that the Vikings are entertaining the thought of drafting anyone not named Matt Kalil. [Pioneer Press]
  • A Mike Wallace trade still isn’t happening. [Ed Bouchette on Twitter]
  • Tony Sparano is already putting his mark on the Jets offense before their official offseason workouts start. [The Jets Blog]
  • Brian Billick is cautiously optimistic about Matt Flynn’s future. [Seahawks.com]
  • There isn’t much of a gap between Stephen Hill and Tommy Streeter, even though Hill is widely projected as a first-round pick. [Niners Nation]
  • Surely looking back at past Super Bowl winners and how they’ve used their draft picks will tell us something about how to build a championship team, right? [Mile High Report]
  • Wes Welker might sign his franchise tender soon. [Boston Herald]
  • So you’re telling me that Tim Tebow isn’t dating both Taylor Swift and Dianna Argon? [New York Post]