The term “full responsibility” apparently merits the same asterisk that some will now apply to the Saints’ win in Super Bowl XLIV.
Despite the fact that all relevant Saints personnel have confessed to a three-year bounty system, which continued for two years after the NFL investigated and the relevant personnel lied about its existence, all of the Saints personnel who have been suspended have now appealed their punishments.
The Saints organization, which was fined $500,000 and stripped of a pair of second-round draft picks, also has appealed.
From a legal perspective, the Saints and coach Sean Payton and assistant head coach Joe Vitt and G.M. Mickey Loomis eachhave the right to appeal. But exercising that right doesn’t necessarily mesh with the concept of contrition and accountability for one of the biggest scandals in league history, which entailed cash payments to players who inflicted injury on opponents.
The fact that the appeals will be heard by Commissioner Roger Goodell will make a reduction of the penalties unlikely, but not impossible.