Even the best teams in football need motivation and Sean Payton was more than willing to hand the Saints some ahead of their Divisional Round matchup against the Eagles. Payton did it in an extremely creative and smart fashion: he used money.
More specifically, Payton trotted out the same motivation tactic he used back in 2009, when the Saints made a Super Bow run, by rolling out a giant case full of cold, hard cash around the Lombardi Trophy to remind his players what’s at stake for them if they can win three games.
According to Josh Katzenstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Payton hid a giant box underneath a big gold curtain in the locker room during a team meeting on Monday.
At the end of the meeting, Payton pulled the curtain up to reveal “a glass case full of cash, along with a Lombardi Trophy.” Additionally, “three armed guards” carried in more cash, to show the Saints a total of $225,000.
The goal of that number? To show his players how much they would earn if the Saints won the Super Bowl.
Payton’s math is a little high: a division winner who plays in a wild-card game would end up making $230,000, while a player on a Wild Card team that wins the Super Bowl earns $228,000.
Saints players, by virtue of winning the division and securing the No. 1 seed, can only earn $201,000 per player. But the point still works. Go win three games and get a massive bonus in addition to securing the Lombardi Trophy and locking in your place in Saints history.
Ted Ginn, Jr., told Katzenstein that everyone freaked the geek out over seeing that amount of money on the table.
“How can I get it? I wish I could go up there and take mine right now,” Ginn said.
Some of the younger players were completely blown away.
“It was surreal because I’ve never seen that much money in person, so when he brought that out … I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is for real? This is what we’re playing for?'” rookie defensive lineman Taylor Stallworth said. “So I feel like that gives the guys another edge, like not only are we in this to win it all, but we got a lot at stake. We all want to walk out of here with a ring on our finger.”
And others just want to see a bunch of $20’s.
“If we get it done, I need it in 20s, all in a duffle bag, delivered to my front door,” defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said.
The: they’re eight-point favorites against the Eagles this coming weekend. And they’re the top favorites in Vegas to win the Super Bowl. Those guys might just get that duffel bag after all.
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