NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints aren’t finished celebrating last season’s Super Bowl title quite yet. Team members gathered at a downtown New Orleans hotel Wednesday night to receive their championship rings from their victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV last February.
Several players who were released or signed elsewhere after last season, such as Philadelphia running back Mike Bell and free agent defensive end Charles Grant, returned to New Orleans for the ceremony.
Running back Pierre Thomas, who has skipped recent organized team activities over a contract dispute, also showed up.
Quarterback Drew Brees called the ring’s design “perfect.” They were custom designed and produced by Tiffany & Co., with players, coaches and ownership helping with the design.
Handcrafted in yellow gold with the fleur-de-lis set with round diamonds, the ring prominently features the words “World Champions” with eight diamonds adorning the top of the ring.
The team’s fleur-de-lis logo, musical notes and New Orleans landmarks — including the Superdome and the distinctive St. Louis Cathedral spires — are on the rings. Also featured are the Super Bowl XLIV logo, date of the game, final score and player’s name and number.
The NFL pays for 150 rings at a cost of up to $5,000 each (plus adjustments for increases in gold and diamonds) although the club can purchase more.
“We feel that the entirety of the greatness of the moments surrounding the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV victory have been captured in the design of the Super Bowl rings,” team owner Tom Benson said in a statement.
“The intent all along was to commemorate the uniqueness of New Orleans and what the Super Bowl championship meant to this town and region, as well as the recognition due to the outstanding jobs of the coaches, players and staff that all played a role in our championship season.”
While attending a news conference earlier Wednesday afternoon to promote his upcoming book, “Home Team,” Saints coach Sean Payton said he plans to wear his ring for a little while anyway.
After declaring “Ring Week” at the Saints practice facility this week, Payton said he was wearing the NFC Championship ring he won with the New York Giants in 2000. However, they lost to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV.
“I took it out this week,” Payton said. “I’m going to wear it until (the Saints’ ceremony) and that’s the last time that one will get any playing time. I’m not even going to take out the insurance on it any more.”
As far as his new ring, Payton said, “I’ll wear it awhile, but at some point in time, I’ll put it away because I don’t dress up a lot.”
Guard Carl Nicks said earlier this week that he couldn’t wait to get his ring, which he said was a size 14‰ or 15‰, on his finger.
“Oh man, I’ve been talking about this ever since we won the Super Bowl,” he said. “‘When do we get ’em? When do we get ’em?’ It’s a dream come true.”
Nicks told reporters that he’ll wear his for two months straight.
“I might wear it to take a bath, I might wear it to the sauna,” he said. “I’m going to wear it and then put it away.”