An ESPN report released Wednesday mentioned that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is considering reinstating New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton early from his suspension.
Payton was beat down with a year-long suspension back in March for his role in the bounty scandal that rocked the Saints’ season. The four players involved—Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove—were all absolved of their suspensions Tuesday by Paul Tagliabue, but the coaching staff was not.
Interim head coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis have already served their suspensions. Payton’s isn’t scheduled to elapse until Feb. 3, 2013, the day of Super Bowl XLVII.
In communications between Goodell and Payton about reinstatement, apparently the topic of an early release was tossed around. Goodell told Ed Werder of ESPN, "I don't want to say he could be because, again, we are in the early stages. We are starting to talk about it."