The NFL has ended its 21-year effort to return professional football to Los Angeles, the nation’s No. 2 market.

Three teams that once played in Los Angeles vied for the right to return, and owners picked the St. Louis Rams.

There was a time not long ago when any conversation about the NFL returning to Los Angeles invariably touched on the Saints as a candidate for relocation.

That hasn’t been much of a concern lately, because owner Tom Benson and then-Gov. Bobby Jindal worked out a deal that keeps the team in the Superdome until 2025.

Benson is getting up in years, and struggling with an ugly legal fight in his family. There are some who think he should sell the team.

But it’s worth remembering that Benson kept the Saints from leaving when he bought the team in 1985, and he has done so a few times since.

The fans of St. Louis would love to have an owner like Tom Benson right now.