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New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, who sat out the

March 5, 1993 GMT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ New Orleans Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, who sat out the entire 1990 season in a contract dispute, was out again Friday - celebrating his $5.1 million dollar out-of-court settlement with the NFL.

In mid-April, Hebert is expected to receive a lump sum of $3.206 million after taxes - the largest amount awarded to any of the 34 named plaintiffs.

Hebert was not available for comment Friday. A babysitter at his suburban home said he and his wife had spent the night in New Orleans ″celebrating.″ In an interview last fall, Hebert said he expected a large settlement and felt he was justified in it.

″I think it’s just what America was founded on, free enterprise,″ Hebert said then. ″That’s what this country is about. Once a man has fulfilled his contract he should be able to sell his services to the highest bidder.″

Hebert’s suit charged that Plan B unfairly restricted his ability to sell his services to another team when his contract with the Saints expired after the 1989 season.

After being benched for the final three games of 1989, Hebert held out for the entire 1990 season. He maintained that since he had played out his contract he had the right to be traded or released. The Saints refused to do either.

Hebert, 32, claimed he was damaged more than the other plaintiffs in the $195 million settlement NFL agreed to in January, because he missed the entire 1990 season.

″We took the approach in 1990 that I was a free agent,″ Hebert said. ″In November of 1989 there was no union, so the only way you could take it was through the antitrust laws. Everybody thought my agent and I were crazy in saying I was a free agent. Not according to NFL rules, but according to the law of the land and how business was run.″

In June 1991, Hebert signed a two-year contract with the Saints that paid him a base salary of $1.3 million, plus $264,000 in incentives the first year. In comparison, he earned a base salary of $650,000 in 1989.

Hebert, who had filed suit in both Philadelphia and California, did not drop his suit when he signed the contract, however.

Hebert said this season that he expected to get five or six times more from the suit than he would have earned had he played for the Saints in 1990.

Ironically, Hebert’s contract expired after the 1992 season, but he no longer wants to leave New Orleans or play for another team. He said his children are in school now and his family has settled into the community and he doesn’t want to disrupt them.

Hebert’s agent, Greg Campbell was in New Orleans Thursday and met with Saints general manager Jim Finks. After the four-hour meeting, Campbell said they did not have a deal, but were close.