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New Orleans Saints’ Sean Payton to Appeal Suspension

Thearon W. Henderson, Getty Images
Thearon W. Henderson, Getty Images

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has decided to file an appeal of his season-long suspension Friday, for his involvement in the Saints bounty system. The appeal will also ask NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his guidance on the parameters of the suspension.

Goodell has said Payton has until Monday to appeal, and if he does, he could stay on as coach pending an expedited hearing.

Saints linebackers coach Joe Vitt will also appeal his six-game suspension.

The NFL informed the Saints after the 2009 season, according to Payton, about its awareness of a pay-for-hits bounty system and that it needed to stop.

Payton has several options to find a temporary replacement. He could look at his current staff and promote Vitt, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., offensive line coach Aaron Kromer or defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

Vitt’s suspension does not start until the regular season does, so he could coach the team through training camp before New Orleans decided whether a coach such as Carmichael or Spagnuolo would take over while Vitt serves his suspension.

The team could also reach out to Payton’s mentor, Bill Parcels, to fill the void. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and Payton met with the retired coach Tuesday before Payton returned to New Orleans from the NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach, Fl.

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