Although Saints coach Sean Payton has accepted on multiple occasions “full responsibility” for the team’s three-year bounty system, Payton still has the right to appeal his one-year suspension.
Payton’s agent, Don Yee, told the Associated Press that no decisions have been made regarding an appeal.
Even though an appeal of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision, which would be heard by Goodell, likely would be futile, there’s a strategic benefit to the Saints. With the suspension due to begin on April 1, Payton could buy some more time by appealing.
“I said in a letter they have to appeal by April 2, I believe,” Goodell told reporters on Monday. “If he decides to appeal, I probably will allow him to continue and I would expedite the hearing and I would expedite my decision.”
Even if the hearing and the decision are expedited, Payton could buy another week or two of involvement in draft meetings. Given that G.M. Mickey Loomis isn’t a traditional “football guy,” having Payton around would go a long way toward helping the Saints be better prepared for the draft. And since the delay due to the appeal undoubtedly wouldn’t be tacked onto the back end of the suspension, there’s nothing to lose by filing an appeal.