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Payton’s suspension applies broadly, but good luck enforcing it

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So with Saints coach Sean Payton’s suspension commencing on April 16, what exactly will he be allowed, and not allowed, to do?

As one source with knowledge of the situation explained it to PFT, it’s a broad suspension, prohibiting all coaching of the team and its players, whether in the team’s facility, at Payton’s home, or anywhere else.

Payton can’t be involved in any decisions relating to the team.  And he can’t engage in any football or operations communications with members of the organization via phone or electronic device, including secret social media accounts.

The real question is the extent to which the NFL will go to enforce the terms of the suspension.  Much of the process will have to proceed on the honor system, given the various ways that people can exchange information and messages via the Internet and engage in real-time conversations via second cell phones.  Unless the NFL plans to use 24-hour surveillance, there’s no way of knowing whether Payton is secretly talking to quarterback Drew Brees, whether Payton is receiving copies of game film tucked inside pizza boxes, or whether he’s answering questions from offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. by direct message on a pair of dummy Twitter accounts.

If sufficiently discreet, the Saints and Payton can do whatever they want, especially since it appears that personal, non-football communications will be permitted (but, as we understand it, there will be only limited and narrow communications permitted).  Since discreet is something the Saints most definitely weren’t while maintaining a bounty system, chances are that if the league senses that something is going on and the league starts sniffing around, the league will find enough evidence to prove a violation.

The best way to ensure that there will be no violations will be to explain to the Saints and Payton and any non-players who may be tempted to interact with Payton that the punishments will be swift and extreme.  Though it may be harder for the league to take such a stance regarding Saints players given the CBA, the threat of a longer suspension of Payton should be enough to get him to comply, if the NFL makes it crystal clear to Payton that his future career is hinging on his ability to truly disconnect from the organization for a full season.

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74 Responses to “Payton’s suspension applies broadly, but good luck enforcing it”
  1. dohpey28 says: Apr 9, 2012 5:38 PM

    I hope their enormous ego shines through once again, and they are caught doing so, and Payton’s suspension goes from 1 year to indefinite like the other clown’s.

  2. bountyboy says: Apr 9, 2012 5:43 PM

    Why would Payton risk it? If the saints do well, it’s because he instituted a well-oiled, self-sufficient machine. He’ll look good. If they do poorly, it’s because they can’t swing it without him. He also looks good.

  3. jimmysee says: Apr 9, 2012 5:44 PM

    After all that’s gone down, I’ve got to believe that if there is evidence that Payton or the Saints have been playing fast and loose with this, the hammer will come down hard… making what’s gone down so far seem trivial.

    Hardly worth taking such a chance.

  4. backstageatapuppetshow says: Apr 9, 2012 5:44 PM

    “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”
    -Lao Tzu-

  5. bearsstillsuck says: Apr 9, 2012 5:45 PM

    There will also be round the clock surveillance to make sure Payton sits down every time he pees.

  6. vikingsnorth says: Apr 9, 2012 5:46 PM

    Has Goodell or the NFL scared him before? Obviously not. Good luck enforcing this!

  7. dfeltz says: Apr 9, 2012 5:47 PM

    We all know Payton has a high opinion of himself, but if he secretly communicates with the organization and gets busted, then he is as dumb as they come. If people think this penalty is too severe, just wait if he doesn’t comply. I for one will be hoping he is as dumb.

  8. 808raiderinparadise says: Apr 9, 2012 5:49 PM

    The Commish better send a copy of the rules to Drew Brees, I’m sure he wants an explanation.

  9. mjkelly77 says: Apr 9, 2012 5:49 PM

    Payton’s suspension applies broadly, but good luck enforcing it
    _________________

    If the penal system can’t stop crime bosses from running their empires from behind bars, how can you stop Payton from interacting with the Saints? You really can’t. All you can do is impress upon him that if so discovered, the resultant consequesnces would be so severe that violating the ban would not warrant undertaking the risk.

  10. mp42245 says: Apr 9, 2012 5:49 PM

    Think “The Wire”

  11. time2speakup says: Apr 9, 2012 5:51 PM

    It is not remotely reasonable to truly expect this man, who has no honor, will suddenly develop same and abide by the rules imposed on him. Any one with half a brain has to know that Payton and his cohorts began devising a means and/or system for communicating going forward from the moment the hammer fell and the clock started ticking down.

  12. duanethomas says: Apr 9, 2012 5:52 PM

    Hey Florio, really love this site, but my one complaint is I am a huge Saints fan and wonder why they get scant coverage on this site. Can you please give us (and I’m sure I speak for everyone) more Saints stories. Thanks.

    *Parts or all of the above paragraph have been embellished*

  13. jenniferxxx says: Apr 9, 2012 5:52 PM

    My guess … Payton will not abide by the terms of his suspension. He’ll get caught. And Saints fans everywhere will say that everyone does it.

  14. xtutx says: Apr 9, 2012 5:55 PM

    You would have to be crazy to even test this.

  15. orcheon says: Apr 9, 2012 5:57 PM

    -Becomes TV Analyst
    -Gives suggestions for what the Saints should do this week

  16. isphet71 says: Apr 9, 2012 5:58 PM

    “Much of the process will have to proceed on the honor system…”

    Something tells me this isn’t going to turn out well.

  17. InFact says: Apr 9, 2012 6:05 PM

    Report: Bobby Petrino named Saints new coach.

  18. lowleadman says: Apr 9, 2012 6:05 PM

    The honor system for a man without honor? C’mon Goodell. Let’s not let this turn in some kind of sham. He should be told in no uncertain terms that any violation of his justly deserved suspension will result in the tacking on of another season. Period. What good are punishments if you can skirt them easily?

  19. drastrozoom says: Apr 9, 2012 6:07 PM

    I just hope the league doesn’t let him anywhere near a TV booth. That would be akin to Pete Rose popping up on “Baseball Tonight.” A suspension is a suspension.

  20. packerpride03 says: Apr 9, 2012 6:10 PM

    This could be the start of the Los Angeles Saints

  21. goodolebaghead says: Apr 9, 2012 6:10 PM

    It’s really sad to see how many of you want to see bad things happen to an organization that has never slighted you once in your lifetime. The guy did the crime, let him do the time. You must all be really threatened by the Saints to want to see someone and their team fail so badly.

  22. jakek2 says: Apr 9, 2012 6:11 PM

    All he needs to do is wear the Bobby Valentine mustache and glasses and he go about coaching the team as if nothing ever happened.

  23. granadafan says: Apr 9, 2012 6:12 PM

    Goodell will give $1000 to anyone who catches Payton making decisions for the Saints.

  24. profootballwalk says: Apr 9, 2012 6:15 PM

    If he gets caught, ban him for life and take away an entire year’s draft choices.

  25. tatum064 says: Apr 9, 2012 6:18 PM

    They’d need surveillance on Payton. He and Parcells would speak regularly or he could get information passed in a number of ways. Its highly doubtful its getting enforced, but you never know.

  26. mark921129 says: Apr 9, 2012 6:18 PM

    This guy, and everyone associated with this debacle, including the fans who defend it, are total scum. He can cry on the highest mountain top that he had no knowledge…but c’mon, we all know he did. I hope he tries to circumvent the ruling and gets caught. Go away Payton, go away and crawl under the same rock in which Gregg Williams resides.

  27. apm says: Apr 9, 2012 6:19 PM

    Can the NFL rent a cell at the Colorado federal supermax prison for the year? That’ll do the trick.

  28. skittlesareyum says: Apr 9, 2012 6:21 PM

    If he’s not getting paid why would he secretly work for the Saints and risk getting busted? Unless, of course, the Saints secretly pay him, but a money trail of millions of dollars is much easier to track.

  29. mancave001 says: Apr 9, 2012 6:24 PM

    If they actually do engage in football operations secretly, they’ve got to be the stupidest people alive. One word to the NFL and I bet Payton will get a lifetime ban. I doubt he’ll be that stupid.

  30. truthhurtstoo says: Apr 9, 2012 6:27 PM

    OMG!! More whining from the who dat crowd… they’re worse than the pats fans crying about being caught cheating…

    where have all the good fans gone?

  31. iamtheandyreid says: Apr 9, 2012 6:30 PM

    Roy Williams should be the only one allowed to deliver the pizza boxes

  32. theytukrjobs says: Apr 9, 2012 6:34 PM

    But Payton is not the type of coach that would try to break rules or mislead the NFL or downright cheat. He is a nice classy guy that you can trust.

    IMO once a guy proves to you that he’ll screw over your business and go to great lengths to lie and deceive then it should be lifetime ban, period. Why does the NFL want this headache? Do you really think he’s going to straighten up?

    Rest assured he’ll cheat if he thinks he can get away with it. Win at all costs, that is what is important to guys like these. It is fine and dandy until he becomes a piece of evidence in lawsuits against the league.

  33. saintjude267 says: Apr 9, 2012 6:36 PM

    Amazing how former players are saying the speech given by Williams was common in high school, college & in the NFL. You better shut them up Goodell, we don’t want people thinking this happened anywhere but New Orleans!

  34. largent80 says: Apr 9, 2012 6:37 PM

    Easy work-around. Just get a prepaid cell phone like Jason Bourne did at Waterloo Station and presto! Tuna on line 2. Unless the league is going to audit every single cell phone record, this ban is unenforceable.

  35. hades304 says: Apr 9, 2012 6:41 PM

    I’ll go ahead and call it…
    Saints win the Super Bowl this year.

  36. illinininer says: Apr 9, 2012 6:46 PM

    All they need are a few pay as you go phones. No ID required.

  37. Kave Krew says: Apr 9, 2012 6:47 PM

    Prediction: Sean Payton tried to circumvent the suspension language AND he gets caught!!! Too many people watching anf too much modern technology, social media, and the average Joe’s knowledge of technology and the average Joe’s hunger for attention and $$$ to sell the info…..

  38. 2dollarpbrs says: Apr 9, 2012 6:48 PM

    Well Sean Payton should have earned the trust of the NFL to get the honor code treatment

  39. SeenThisB4 says: Apr 9, 2012 6:57 PM

    I’m sure Payton (Lone Wolf) and the Saints (Wolf Den) can meet in the back room of any of the Jimmy John’s in town, or maybe in the Rex Room at Antoine’s, or riding in the Street Car between Henry Clay and Lee Circle or on the Canal Street/Algiers ferry. Come on! That’s a piece of cake! I’m sure they have already discussed dozens of different venues several times.

  40. ascensionparish says: Apr 9, 2012 7:04 PM

    It’s all prelude to 12 wins.

  41. jeremyjr10 says: Apr 9, 2012 7:19 PM

    everyone who say’s sean payton should be banned for life for this and is not honorable or trustworthy seem to forget that he started coaching this team in 2006 and there was no mention of bountys or anything like that for the first three seasons it was only when gregg williams took over the defense is when all the trouble started I’m not saying he had no knowledge but u cant put everything on him he handed over the defense to gregg williams and trusted him with it yeah he should have stopped it and was stupid for not but that doesn’t mean he should have the same punishment as gregg williams got

  42. goosepimplebone says: Apr 9, 2012 7:24 PM

    If he’s hired by ESPN he can communicate with them via blinking the eyes in Morse Code like POWs do in propaganda films

  43. genericuser8888 says: Apr 9, 2012 7:47 PM

    Bill Parcells does not need Sean’s advice on how to coach football. Bill taught Sean everything he knows. What would be the point if talking football? Bill wouldn’t listen to Payton anyway. The Tuna does EXACTLY what he wants, or he quits. Everyone knows that.

  44. mrlaloosh says: Apr 9, 2012 7:54 PM

    Payton should get the same punishment as those crooks on Wall Street that started the recession…..
    Wait a minute, never mind.

  45. kokomike says: Apr 9, 2012 7:58 PM

    This article implies unethical behavior is common, recognized and acceptable in NFL football.

  46. goodolebaghead says: Apr 9, 2012 7:59 PM

    Dear Mike, it’s becoming painfully obvious day after day after day that you are still really butthurt about the 2009NFCCG. Please get over it already.

  47. sabatimus says: Apr 9, 2012 7:59 PM

    “Honor system”….I’ll just state the obvious and say this is a total fricking joke.

  48. billsfan27 says: Apr 9, 2012 8:00 PM

    Coach would be an idiot to screw around. You know the NFL brute squad is going to keep an eye on the situation. Just take a seat and come back next year. There’s no guarantee your team is going to suck without you anyway.

  49. lutz977 says: Apr 9, 2012 8:03 PM

    I always wondered how far the NFL would take the no-communication aspect. If Payton and Parcels are already such great friends, who knows that they haven’t gotten together for a monthly bbq for the past 5-10 years? Is Goodell going to say you can’t talk to your good friend about ANYTHING or just football topics? It would be easy to see these guys getting together regularly and say they are just catching up as friends, unless that is strictly prohibited by Goodell ahead of time.

  50. lutz977 says: Apr 9, 2012 8:09 PM

    In my opinion, Payton staying away from the saints will be very difficult for him to do. He’s a football guy, it’s probably all he knows and loves. Wheather he has the will, is yet to be seen. I wouldn’t test Goodell…

  51. weepingjebus says: Apr 9, 2012 8:12 PM

    So if they also ban as many Saints players as were likely involved, can Payton and the rest of them all get together and form a new Saints team in the CFL?

  52. joemammy says: Apr 9, 2012 9:01 PM

    If they screw this up, just pack the whole team off to L.A. I can’t think of a greater punishment…

  53. tboudreaux says: Apr 9, 2012 9:08 PM

    drastrozoom says: “I just hope the league doesn’t let him anywhere near a TV booth. That would be akin to Pete Rose popping up on “Baseball Tonight.” A suspension is a suspension.”

    Payton was suspended from coaching in the NFL, not from providing insight into professional football. Further, Roger Goodell’s authority does not expand into sports commentary as provided by third-parties. As such, the NFL lacks the ability to prohibit Payton from gaining employment in such a capacity. Finally, Pete Rose could acquire a position working on Baseball Tonight, thus your argument is actually invalid.

  54. ivibaileyivi says: Apr 9, 2012 9:30 PM

    Who dat nation? You a Cheating, Sorry a@# nation AINTS. It keeps getting better!!

    ***2009 SuperBowl ChUmpions New Orlean AINTS***

  55. gpclaw says: Apr 9, 2012 9:45 PM

    The Saints have a chance at getting their 2013 second round pick, and some cash back, as long as they play by the rules of their suspension. It may not be easy to enforce the terms of Payton’s suspension, but if he gets caught violating the terms, then there is no chance that the team will get their draft pick back.

  56. truths4all says: Apr 9, 2012 9:57 PM

    The easy solution is the poison pill for the Taints. Any violation will result in another $500,000 fine and the loss of the next first and second round picks that they Taints have. Keep going until they have no more first and second round picks for the next 20 years. If that fails, kick the owner out or cut the TV revenue. If there is anything the owner understands, it is the loss of his money in his pocketbook.

  57. Deb says: Apr 9, 2012 10:06 PM

    @tboudreaux …

    The networks and NFL work in concert, so if the league wanted to pressure the networks not to hire Payton, it’s likely they’d abide by the league’s wishes.

    Many other coaches and former players can provide the same game insights Payton can provide. (Although he could discuss the egomania it takes to write a book detailing how he micromanages and hangs with shady characters like Michael Ornstein … then try to claim he knows no-thing.) But it would be ridiculous to suspend this guy for unethical behavior–including repeatedly lying to the league–then prop him up in a broadcaster’s booth to give us all his coaching insights on gameday.

  58. drewsg says: Apr 9, 2012 10:44 PM

    That’s why I thought the NFL should’ve hit them harder with drafts

  59. chatham10 says: Apr 9, 2012 10:44 PM

    The Honor system, they had already lied and did a cover up so Payton who thinks he is above everybody will attempt to still run the operation and then somebody will rat him out and he will be done, maybe it will be Warren Sapp this time who leaks the information

  60. banjostang says: Apr 9, 2012 10:59 PM

    This is stupid. You cannot coach an NFL team by slipping notes under the table or secret texts.

    Suspending him for a year is within the pervue of the comissioner (and deserved). However, God-ell is an idiot if he thinks that he can cut off Payton from his close friends that he most likely has made over the past years he has coached this team.

    He’s starting to make this look more like a personal vendetta because someone challenged his “authority”. The “I need you to prove to me that you are truely sorry before I unground you” stance is juvenile. The NFL is changing, and with it the system of fines, punishments, suspensions and appeals requires change as well. No one person is capable of adjudicating personnel issues the modern NFL. Goodell does not have the skillset to do this.

  61. vtopa says: Apr 9, 2012 11:07 PM

    I’m a Saints fan and a Payton fan and I can say they’d be morons to break the rules here. The NFL has demonstrated that its security investigation team knows what they are doing. All it takes is ONE infraction and Goodell will hammer them. Take a break Sean. Travel. See the world. And stay the $%#@ off your phone for a year.

  62. neilnixon says: Apr 9, 2012 11:29 PM

    I’m personally OK with the Payton suspension, but tell me: What do draft picks have to do with “Bounty Gate” anyway???? Williams set this up: he’s suspended. Payton, Loomis, Vitt let it go on: suspended. Why should the Commissioner hurt the on-field future of the team for past actions when he’s already penalized…very harshly…those who did the dirty deeds? There’s at least 35 other players on that team that weren’t involved, so why penalize them…or the fans (who still have to pay full price for their tickets) by taking away draft picks and potentially hurting the team’s future performance? Affecting the competitive balance of the league is WAY BEYOND what a Commissioner should be able to do.

    It’s like a high school suspending your kid for bad behavior and trying to garnish the parent’s future wages.

    Should a Commissioner have the right to affect a team’s future performance for past actions AFTER he’s already penalized those responsible? Doesn’t it reflect that his motives go beyond punishing those responsible and toward ensuring the team is not as successful moving forward? And isn’t that a rather dangerous precedent??

  63. sitbackandwatch says: Apr 10, 2012 12:05 AM

    Sean Payton coaching from his couch still makes him the best coach in NFC south.

  64. phillybirds says: Apr 10, 2012 1:27 AM

    I dont think they will have a problem keeping him off the facilities or off the sideline.

    Nice article though.

  65. jonny42671 says: Apr 10, 2012 5:12 AM

    I’m sure he will find a way to CHEAT again. Drew Brees still needs a explanation.

  66. sudz28 says: Apr 10, 2012 6:59 AM

    Life is unfaaiiiirrrrrrr….

  67. furedmccombs says: Apr 10, 2012 8:58 AM

    saintjude267 says:
    Apr 9, 2012 6:36 PM
    Amazing how former players are saying the speech given by Williams was common in high school, college & in the NFL. You better shut them up Goodell, we don’t want people thinking this happened anywhere but New Orleans!

    Acctually I’ve heard more players say that 90% or more of what was said is common; but calling out specific body parts on players for the intent to injure is not.

    Watching Greer twist APs ankle while he was at the bottom of the pile last season, in a game that meant nothing, is an example of how classless that team is.

  68. kozmo50 says: Apr 10, 2012 9:10 AM

    Spy vs Spy

  69. mrheavychevy says: Apr 10, 2012 9:17 AM

    Who cares about the saints

  70. ratedgap says: Apr 10, 2012 9:18 AM

    Florio, you are gonna need more bandwidth for your site based on all the soapboxes that appear in the comment section whenever a story about this is posted. Somehow everyone is an angel when it isn’t their team. There’s no defense for some of the things that happened, but half you hypocrites act as if they had players running around on the field with loaded weapons like the movie the last boy scout. Get over it. The team got beat over the head by Goodell, and they are still gonna wreck 75% of the teams they play this season. They are still going to the playoffs, and still gonna be in the hunt for a Superbowl. What’s gonna be your excuses then? The internet is like the pied piper to hypocrites. They can’t resist its call.

  71. cowboycjn says: Apr 10, 2012 10:09 AM

    Payton should get your job MF – then he could write some really good articles instead of the BS you keep writting to draw an audience and boost ratings and make people write such nonsense as the yo-yos that post under your fictious writtings.

    I see why you are no longer in your past job – you can’t even write fiction with quality.

  72. Deb says: Apr 10, 2012 1:08 PM

    @ratedgap …

    Omigosh, you said FLORIO and it wasn’t blocked by PFT’s filters???? I knew it seemed like a much saner place since MDS replaced … um … well, never mind.

    Nice :)

  73. vtopa says: Apr 10, 2012 3:27 PM

    neilnixon says:
    Apr 9, 2012 11:29 PM
    I’m personally OK with the Payton suspension, but tell me: What do draft picks have to do with “Bounty Gate” anyway???? Williams set this up: he’s suspended. Payton, Loomis, Vitt let it go on: suspended. Why should the Commissioner hurt the on-field future of the team for past actions when he’s already penalized…very harshly…those who did the dirty deeds? There’s at least 35 other players on that team that weren’t involved, so why penalize them…or the fans (who still have to pay full price for their tickets) by taking away draft picks and potentially hurting the team’s future performance? Affecting the competitive balance of the league is WAY BEYOND what a Commissioner should be able to do.

    It’s like a high school suspending your kid for bad behavior and trying to garnish the parent’s future wages.

    Should a Commissioner have the right to affect a team’s future performance for past actions AFTER he’s already penalized those responsible? Doesn’t it reflect that his motives go beyond punishing those responsible and toward ensuring the team is not as successful moving forward? And isn’t that a rather dangerous precedent??
    ————————–

    Brilliant point, and one that none of the “reporters” or bloggers or other talking heads seem to want to talk about…

  74. jennifercannon2121 says: Apr 11, 2012 3:59 PM

    I’m glad that our coach has the will to still be a part of the team and cares about the team even though he won’t be getting paid. People who said that he is not honorable or respectful truly have NO CLUE!! This man has done so much for the Saints organization and the entire city of N.O. and all areas around it that you will NEVER knock him down in the eyes of the Who Dat Nation. Sean P is a smart guy and he’ll figure something out. WE will get through!! And our Saints will be READY more than ever this season!!! WHO DAT!!!

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