With no downside to appealing his one-season suspension, Saints coach Sean Payton’s decision to ask Commissioner Roger Goodell to reconsider the decision previously made by, um, Commissioner Roger Goodell had no downside.
Other than the relatively limited criticism arising from those who were unable to reconcile the notion of taking “full responsibility” with the decision to appeal the suspension.
In the end, Payton delayed the suspension by two weeks and a day, nudging it from Sunday, April 1 until Monday, April 16. Assuming that he’s making $7 million per year, he saved roughly $270,000 by appealing.
He also created more time to help the team prepare for the draft. G.M. Mickey Loomis, whose suspension doesn’t begin until the start of the regular season, isn’t a traditional “football guy,” which means that Payton typically has significant input in draft planning. The Saints now have another week to get his input.
The Saints also have another week to involve Payton in the process of appointing an interim head coach. After several days of intense speculation regarding the possibility of Bill Parcells emerging from retirement for a one-shot pursuit of a Super Bowl tile, the grapevine has shriveled up — which likely means plenty of things are happening quietly and discreetly. Until Parcells rules out taking the job, he remains in play. With each passing day, the chances of Parcells having some sort of involvement with the 2012 Saints seem to grow.
Last week, Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune suggested during an appearance on PFT Live that a decision will be made before the draft. This means that a couple of weeks of the team’s offseason program could unfold with no head coach.
Or, perhaps, with an interim interim head coach.
Either way, the biggest story of the 2012 offseason won’t be going away any time soon.