According to ESPN, Saints head coach Sean Payton won’t be allowed to have any contact with the NFL or the Saints during his suspension. If any such contact does occur, he’s required to report it to the NFL.
The rules of the suspension now seem far stricter than they were originally considered when the suspension was announced. Back then, it was said that Payton could have contact with coaches within the Saints organization, but he couldn’t “coach from home.” It seems as if the NFL has reconsidered that broad interpretation of his suspension, and reformed the interpretation to be very finite and rigid, and rightly so.
This is just another piece of bad news dealt to the Saints. The NFL and the NFLPA are in the middle of talks that will likely culminate in the suspension of a handful of Saints defensive players. There are rumors that those punishments could be very severe. Mike Freeman wrote a piece about the NFLPA’s support of the accused Saints players that is an absolute must-read, and it’s a short piece that gets straight to the point.
It would seem that by the time it’s all said and done, the Saints will have lost multiple coaches, a GM, and multiple players for varying spans of time. It’s amazing to me how strong the NFL has been in this situation. I find it hard to believe the NFL’s message hasn’t been received by every team in the league and every player loud and clear. The long-term result of the NFL’s harsh punishment of the Saints won’t be known for some time, but it seems possible that this may be a rare issue that was completely and fully solved with one fell swoop from the NFL, and it may be Roger Goodell’s lasting legacy.