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Not everyone believes Payton’s not in contact with Saints

San Diego Chargers v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

Per the terms of his suspension, Saints coach Sean Payton can’t have any communication with his co-workers in New Orleans, or any team.

And while risking the wrath of the guy who doled out the one-year ban would seem plenty of deterrent, not everyone believes that a year without any kind of contact is easy to swallow.

The terms of Payton’s suspension say he’s “prohibited from direct or indirect communication of any sort with employees of the 32 clubs, including through third parties; and such prohibited communications shall include, but are not limited to, phone or electronic contact.”

Many have scoffed at the practicality of such a shut-down, with the ease with which someone could send messages (disposable cell phones, Twitter accounts, etc.).

Giants punter Steve Weatherford was willing put his name next to the skepticism, saying: “Of course he will get his message to them somehow.”

“I’m not saying anything about Sean Payton as a person or anything,” Weatherford said, via Sam Borden of the New York Times. “But I think any coach would do that. It’s not like he’s just going to sit at home and watch the games and not have any thoughts. His message will be heard.”

As you might imagine, the league disagrees.

An NFL spokesman wouldn’t discuss the methods they used to monitor Payton or any other suspended personnel, saying only that the Saints coach “is expected to comply with the conditions of the suspension.”

But the Times talked to a counterterrorism and intelligence expert who essentially scoffed at the notion Payton could be prevented from getting word back to his team if he wanted to. But he also noted that the risk might be enough to coerce compliance.

“No one wants to lose their clearance,” said Rick Nelson of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “That’s No. 1. So even if you want to talk right then, you don’t. It’s a risk-based decision and I’d imagine Payton is facing the same thing.

“Even if he thinks he’s got the secret to winning this game, the choice is the same as an agent’s: is the reward of talking about it worth the risk of being exposed?”

With a huge payday, from the Saints or others on the line when he is reinstated, trying to sneak help the Saints this year would seem to be the ultimate act of hubris.

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22 Responses to “Not everyone believes Payton’s not in contact with Saints”
  1. mazblast says: Dec 7, 2012 11:13 AM

    Only an idiot would try to violate the terms of his suspension, given the propensity of The Great Roger Goodell Himself Live And In Person to throw the book at anyone connected with the Saints. Payton’s no idiot, even if he did formerly work for Jerry Jones.

  2. themagicman1223 says: Dec 7, 2012 11:13 AM

    I don’t think Payton is dumb enough to risk another ban…

  3. goodellgate says: Dec 7, 2012 11:13 AM

    You just need to look at our offense to know that we’re not in contact with Payton..

    And why am I not surprised that it’s Weatherford, a guy who got cut from the Saints after an argument with Payton, who bring that up ??

  4. saintsfan26 says: Dec 7, 2012 11:17 AM

    is Buffalo the only New York team that doesn’t talk out of their backside?

  5. fuglyflorio says: Dec 7, 2012 11:23 AM

    In other words … ‘once a cheat and a liar … always a cheat and a liar.’

  6. The Prophet says: Dec 7, 2012 11:27 AM

    Forget about being punishment, the worse the Saints do the better Sean Payton looks. it is in his best interest to sit back and let the Saints crumble and if he knew the answer to give them wins now, he’d be stupid to share it with the Saints this season.

  7. jjackwagon says: Dec 7, 2012 11:46 AM

    He can’t use third parties but it doesn’t say anything about fourth, fifth or sixth parties.

  8. insanelomein2 says: Dec 7, 2012 11:51 AM

    I cant stand Steve Weatherford. This guy sure yaps alot for just being a punter.

  9. pksullivanmph says: Dec 7, 2012 12:08 PM

    Thanks for the compliment Saints Fan. Yes you are right we don’t talk out of our backside now if only we could hire a coach and GM that could win!!🏉@footballady52

  10. godofwine330 says: Dec 7, 2012 12:09 PM

    The thing is, if he is indeed talking to the team can he shut his mouth and keep it shut? The thing about bank robbers is, it is extremely difficult to pull off the heist of the century and have no one know about it, or even know your name. Some people just can’t get away with something, they have to let people know about it, and that is where they mess up.

  11. bobcrs says: Dec 7, 2012 12:17 PM

    Why is anyone interviewing the Giants punter about the Saints coaching…..how does that even come up in an interview. Sheesh….How bout asking him how the Giants screw up winning a terrible NFC East

  12. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 7, 2012 12:20 PM

    But the rules don’t say he can’t communicate through 4th parties, aha!!

    So he can pass notes via carrier pigeons to 3rd parties who then relay the message to the team, and he can perform sign language while being spied on by intermediaries. LOOPHOLE!

  13. spicymudbugs says: Dec 7, 2012 12:32 PM

    He’s a punter. Even the cheerleaders think he’s useless.

  14. lajmahal says: Dec 7, 2012 12:45 PM

    @saintsfan26

    Buffalo is the only team in NY, so yea.

  15. manningbowl88 says: Dec 7, 2012 12:47 PM

    steve ur a good punter and everything for the team but just be quiet. unless u start playin on defense to u make to much waves

  16. melikefootball says: Dec 7, 2012 12:48 PM

    No one really believes there is not contact that is the way the NFL works today. NFL players and coaches will find a way to stir in some cheating to see if they get caught.

  17. olcap says: Dec 7, 2012 12:49 PM

    The NFL would rather hide, then destroy, the evidence of Payton contacting the team, which is their usual way of handling evidence.

  18. ilovefoolsball says: Dec 7, 2012 1:28 PM

    I think it’s safe to say that Payton is not doing this.
    He’s not going to get credit for wins this season and he’s not getting paid.
    The only advantage I can see from him having contact would be to keep certain players around for him to use when he returns.

    …and make no mistake he will be back with the Saints!!!

  19. mrfoozball says: Dec 7, 2012 1:55 PM

    Weatherford should start a gossip column for the New York Times since he provides so much bulletin board material of locker room antics. Readership would skyrocket out of the roof!

  20. CKL says: Dec 7, 2012 2:01 PM

    Sean is a maverick but I don’t think even he would do all that drop phone type stuff just to get strategies over to Brees/Carmichael. LOL
    Besides as others pointed out, he’s better off the worse they do. I guarantee that with a decent QB and Sean, they’d have a better record than they do now. Great HC>>>>any player.

  21. thejuddstir says: Dec 7, 2012 7:45 PM

    Not that I really give a chit, but only a moron or a saints* fan (some would say they are one and the same) believes there is no contact. With today’s technology it would be simple enough for a grade-schooler to do and, secondly, Payton’s ego would be incentive enough for him to try and thumb his nose at Goodell and the NFL.

  22. lolo376 says: Dec 7, 2012 10:49 PM

    If you take your time and look at every Giants interview before their games, they have been crying and complaining about EVERY team this year! I’ve never seen a defending Super Bowl team cry so damn much as they have, smh.

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