Sean Payton is back in the New Orleans Saints' fold. The NFL announced today that Sean Payton has been reinstated by the NFL, effective immediately.
"We had a very productive discussion," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a released statement. "Sean fully complied with all the requirements imposed on him during his suspension. More important, it is clear that Sean understands and accepts his responsibilities as a head coach and the vital role that coaches play in promoting player safety and setting an example for how the game should be played at all levels. We are committed to delivering football that fans love and the safety players deserve. Coach Payton agrees and I look forward to working with him going forward to do that."
The Saints will now be able to move forward from the Bountygate scandal that effectively derailed their 2012 season. They were able to put together a respectable record, but anything short of the playoffs has to be considered a disappointment for Saints fans, coaches and players.
Sean Payton responded to his reinstatement with release of his own, saying"I am thankful today Commissioner Goodell has granted me reinstatement. As I stated back in March, 'I, along with Mickey Loomis, take full responsibility for all aspects of our football program.'
I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violations.
Furthermore, I have assured the Commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed.
Lastly, I feel we have learned from our mistakes and are ready to move forward. I want to thank our owner, Mr. Benson and all of our great fans for the overwhelming support throughout this past year.
I am excited to be back as Head Coach of the New Orleans Saints!"
In separate Bountygate-related news, Albert Breer reports that Gregg Williams has been given permission by the NFL to look for work in the NFL. The twist is that NFL Roger Goodell won't review Gregg Williams' case for reinstatement until after he lands a job. The assumption here is that Goodell would reinstate Williams if he finds a job, at least that's the way I read into the report.