New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has been fully reinstated to his position on Tuesday after serving a season-long suspension for his role in the team’s bounty program.
The NFL decided to reinstate Payton after he had a long meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday in New Orleans.
“We had a very productive discussion,” Goodell said in a 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.”
Effective immediately, Payton is allowed to attend Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala. this week, as well as any other duty that comes with the territory.
“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,” Payton said in a statement.
“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. [Tom] 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!”
The New Orleans Saints signed Payton to a five-year contract extension worth $8 million annually, which will make him the NFL’s highest paid coach.