The Saints and coach Sean Payton previously had reached an agreement in principle on a new contract. The agreement in principle has now become an agreement in reality.
The team has announced that Payton’s new five-year contract has been signed.“I am excited that we have finalized this contract with Sean,” Saints owner Tom Benson said. “He has been a great leader for our organization. He and Mickey [Loomis] have built a foundation of success as they have built the roster. We have already begun preparations for the 2013 season and I look forward to getting Sean back in the building as soon as possible, as I know our fans do as well.”
“Sean has been a critical part of our success, getting him signed to a long-term deal is very important to our organization and we are pleased to have it finalized,” Loomis said. “We have already begun the process of planning for the 2013 season, turning the page on 2012. We have challenges ahead, but they are nothing we cannot overcome. I know Sean is ready to get back to football in 2013.”
Payton can’t get back to football until he’s reinstated by Commissioner Roger Goodell. The league says there’s no timetable for considering whether and when Payton will be allowed to return from a suspension that is supposed to last through the Super Bowl.
Given that the Saints’ season is over and preparations are beginning for 2013, there seems to be no further reason to delay taking up the question of whether he should be allowed to return to work.