When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended coach Sean Payton for all of the 2012 season, the league made it clear that Payton will be banned until after Super Bowl XLVII. In recent weeks, a sense has emerged that Goodell could meet with — and possibly reinstate — Payton before the Super Bowl, as an olive branch of sorts to folks in New Orleans who will (or won’t) be welcoming the NFL and Goodell to town for the Super Bowl.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the meeting won’t occur before the Super Bowl. Instead, Payton will be required to apply for reinstatement the day after the championship game is played at the Superdome.
That likely won’t go over well among Saints fans. And for good reason. Their 2012 season is over. Preparations already are being made for 2013. By not having Payton available, the suspension necessarily is extending into the 2013 campaign.
For example, he’ll miss the Senior Bowl and the practice sessions preceding them. Given that Payton has a major role in personnel evaluation, that will hurt the team’s draft planning.
So why not review Payton’s situation now? It was a one-year suspension, and the Saints’ year ended on Sunday.