The announcement regarding the outcome of the appeals of the penalties imposed by Commissioner Roger Goodell for the Saints’ three-year bounty system states that Goodell will “consider whether there are factors that would support modifying the forfeiture of the team’s 2013 second-round draft choice.”
So what does that mean? As we understand it, the Saints will still have a significant draft-pick penalty in 2013, to go along with the loss of a second-round pick in 2012. The final determination will be influenced by whether and to what extent the Saints cooperate with (as mentioned in the announcement) the “development and implementation of programs to instruct players and coaches at all levels on principles of player safety, fair play, and sportsmanship,” along with whether the Saints have a bad season in 2012, putting the second-round pick high in the process.
In that event, the penalty could be modified to, for example, a pair of lower picks. Either way, a punishment of some sort will be applied during the 2013 draft, and it will include at least one pick, perhaps more. Whether it’s reduced will be determined if/when the Saints petition for reconsideration after the 2012 season.