Saints coach Sean Payton was shocked to find out today that he has been banished from the NFL for the entire 2012 season for his team’s bounty scandal.
Jay Glazer said on NFL Network that he interviewed Payton immediately after the news came down, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s punishment is far more severe than Payton was expecting.
“I did talk to him and he’s stunned to say the least,” Glazer said. “I think the entire team thought maybe there’d be a four-game suspension, but not a year. I said, ‘Are you OK?’ And he said, ‘No, I’m not OK.’ He is stunned. He’s going to lose about $8 million. He is beside himself here.”
Glazer reports that Payton’s plan for the four-game suspension he had braced himself for was to have assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt take over as interim head coach while Payton served the suspension. But that plan is now out the window because Vitt has been suspended six games for his own role in the bounty scandal.
The Saints may now have either offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael or former Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo, who was slated to replace Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator, step in as the head coach.