After the parade, saints face many decisions

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Sean Payton wore Mardi Gras beads Monday morning and the look of a man who had channeled the Bourbon Street party after the New Orleans Saints completed their stunning resurrection for themselves and their city at the Super Bowl.

Bleary-eyed and euphoric, like the thousands who flooded New Orleans’s streets Sunday night in celebration, Payton was already so at ease with being a Super Bowl champion that he began his news conference by thanking the National Football Leaguefor keeping the buses running on time and ended it by throwing the Lombardi Trophy over his shoulder as if it were a Windbreaker.

“This thing laid in my bed next to me last night,” Payton said. “I rolled over; I probably drooled on it. Man, there’s nothing like it.”

There will be plenty of time for major off-season decisions, and the Saints have loads of them. They have 29 free agents — 11 of them unrestricted — heading into next season, which means that all those fans drinking Hurricanes this week should enjoy their feel-good team now, because it could look drastically different when the N.F.L. hosts its opening party in New Orleans in September.

Full story: After the Parade, Saints Face Many Decisions – The New York Times