On Wednesday night, ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that Commissioner Roger Goodell said he has been talking to suspended Saints coach Sean Payton about a possible reinstatement before the Super Bowl. The league now says that no such communications have occurred.
“I don’t want to say he could be because, again, we are in the early stages,” Goodell told Werder as Goodell was leaving Dallas on Wednesday. “We are starting to talk about it.”
According to NFL.com, “we” didn’t mean Payton and Goodell. Instead, “we” meant internal discussions at the league office.
Werder advises PFT that he accepts the explanation, and that he has revised his report accordingly.
So the official word is that Goodell hasn’t talked to Payton about a possible pre-Super Bowl reinstatement. But the league office has had internal discussions about that possibility.
Either way, the possibility is now on the table.