GM Mickey Loomis Opening Statement: "We're sorry for the short notice, but we want to get this done before Deuce (McAllister) has to report to the team meeting. Obviously, we are here to announce that Deuce McAllister and the New Orleans Saints have agreed to a seven year contract extension that will keep Deuce a New Orleans Saint through the 2012 season. We started this process last year, and I just want to commend Deuce and his agent Ben Dogra for their patience through this whole process. It's just an affirmation of what we already know, which is that Deuce is a team-first guy and we're just really happy to have Deuce under contract for as long as he wants to be a Saint. With that, I'll let Deuce make a few comments."
Deuce McAllister Opening Statement: "First and foremost, I have to thank God for this. I thank the organization for their commitment to me. Obviously, I thank the city and the fans and Mr. Benson for just believing in me and believing in my talent, my teammates, coach Haslett, all the coaches that have stuck with me, Mr. Mickey (Loomis), the general management, and just the whole front office. Obviously, it has been a long process for me. They say patience is a virtue, so we tried to be patient. There were some tough times in there, but eventually everything worked out. I have to be pleased about it, and I am ecstatic and blessed about the whole situation."
McAllister Q: Could this be the last contract? Could this be the last one of your career?
A: "Possibly. I look to finish my career here, and this basically locks me up in New Orleans. I have to be pleased and proud about that, just to have an awesome situation here in New Orleans being from Mississippi and coming here to have a chance to play in front of the fans. The great fans have been supportive of us as a team. We haven't gotten to the ultimate game, to the Super Bowl, and that's what the fans have wanted and hopefully I can be part of it."
Loomis Q: How difficult was this deal to get done, given the parameters of the cap situation?
A: "It's a tough deal. It was a tough deal to do. Like I said, we started the process last year, and it's obviously a big deal. Deuce deserves that, and whenever you have big deals you have a lot of issues. It took a long time to work through them all, and I'm excited about it. I know Deuce is. I'm excited that he is going to be a Saint for the foreseeable future, through 2012. If he wants to keep playing, we'll sign him to a new deal then."
McAllister Q: Did you plan on holding out if you didn't get the new contract?
A: "No, because like I said you have to be patient with the whole deal. Obviously, that's a part of it and some guys have used that tactic in the past. I don't think that was my ultimate goal because I wanted to be out here with the guys to continue to prepare for Carolina. I knew that was going to set me back if that occurred. I knew the organization, management, and my agent had worked hard over the last two years, so I didn't want to dampen anything by being a holdout. I didn't want to be disruptive and mess up what they had been working on for the last two years."
McAllister Q: At what point did you realize that it was going to get done?
A: "I wouldn't say that it was at a certain stage that I realized it was going to get done. I was hoping it would get done before this time, but it's a long process and there is a lot that has to be considered and taken into fact. My job is to prepare myself and to get ready for Carolina. I basically put it in their hands to be able to take care of the contract."
Loomis Q: Does this put him in the class with (Clinton) Portis and (LaDainian) Tomlinson?
A: "Sure, it's a big deal. Hopefully Deuce will be able to get himself a new suit."
Loomis Q: Did they set the bar for this deal?
A: "Well, there are a lot of deals, and we looked at every deal. It's a Deuce McAllister deal is what it is. It's not a Portis deal or a Tomlinson deal or any of these other guys. It's a Deuce McAllister deal."
Loomis Q: People say that you don't want to break the bank for a running back. Why for a guy like this?
A: "Obviously, Deuce is a great running back. I said to Deuce a long time ago that we're not going to give you a big deal because you can get 1,200 or 1,400 or 1,600 yards. We gave him a big deal because we believe in him as a leader on our team who can help get us to the ultimate goal. We absolutely believe that, and Deuce deserves a big deal. To be honest with you, the guys in the league who have produced have always gotten paid. Deuce is absolutely in that category. In our view, we wouldn't trade Deuce for anybody."
Loomis Q: Where do things stand with Jammal Brown? Will he be on the field tomorrow?
A: "We're always hopeful of that. There are a number of first round picks that aren't signed right now. That will take care of itself. Russ Ball is working hard on that right now as well speak. His agent, who is also Deuce McAllister's agent, has been working on it too. This is really Deuce's night. I wanted to make sure we called this before our first meeting because it really is a big deal. It's a big deal for us in the organization. It's a big deal for Deuce. It's a big deal for the fans and even the media. I think everyone is excited about it."
Loomis Q: Did Mike McKenzie report to training camp?
A: "I won't know who's present until we get to that meeting."
Loomis Q: Have you made any progress with Jammal Brown or other players' contractual situations that have been under discussion?
A: "I don't know if I can answer that one. These deals, the way they work is you don't know if you have a deal until you have a deal. You know when you're a long ways apart, but I don't know if you know when you're close in the sense that you're asking me. It's tough for me to answer that question."
Loomis Q: Have you had discussions with Mike McKenzie's agent?
A: "We've had a number of contacts with him. I don't have any announcements other than Deuce McAllister."
McAllister Q: Did it take the amount of money given to you by the Saints to realize the love that they have for you?
A: "I wouldn't necessarily say a lot of money. Anytime you do a job, you want to get paid for your job and that's basically how it has to happen. In team sports, sometimes you have to sacrifice for the team. If you look at a team that has done that over the last four or five years it's New England, because they sacrifice greatly. Obviously contract situations haven't risen to a point where it's been disruptive, because if it had, then obviously they release the guy or they trade him. Every player wants to get paid for his services, because in this game of football, nobody can play for 20 years. Jerry Rice and Jackie Slater, some of those guys are an exception. As a running back, you usually last three and a half years, so you could kind of say I've passed that benchmark, so I'm just pleased that we were able to work out an extension and just extremely ecstatic about it."
McAllister Q: Do you know how you're going to spend the money?
A: "Probably the first thing is, my job is to play football. I'll try to do some smart investing in it. It's basically secured my family's future as well as my children's future, when that does occur, my nephews and everybody, they've basically been taken care of from this point on."
McAllister Q: What is it like for a person such as yourself from a small town in Mississippi to attain so much success at a young age?
A: "You have to believe. That's what it's basically telling any kid from a rural area or the inner cities. Don't think that because it's hard on you now that you can't make it to the top ultimately. Sometimes it's going to be tough. A lot of the time it's going to be tough, but you have to continue to fight. You have to continue to have hope and continue to believe, because it can happen."
McAllister Q: Will it be a big adjustment to have this kind of contract?
A: "I've been working hard. Obviously with the kind of a shift to a more of a running game type of philosophy, I know what the team is trying to do offensively as far as getting me involved and basically running the ball. We're going to be a play action team. We still have speed on the outside that we can use. Mickey alluded to the fact that I didn't wear a suit. My ultimate goal is to get back to the Pro Bowl. That's where I want to be. I know if I can make it back to the Pro Bowl, then this team has no reason to be back in the playoffs, so I basically know that they're putting everything on my shoulders. I'm big enough to carry it. I want the pressure. I want the ball, because I want to get us in the playoffs where we haven't been."
Loomis Q: Can you talk about the terms and signing bonus?
A: "We don't do that other than to say that it's a seven year extension, eight year contract in total. That's personal business for Deuce. That's not for me to talk about."