Saints coach Sean Payton remains suspended, at least through the Super Bowl. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell remains no closer to accelerating the reinstatement effort.
Recently, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello refuted an ESPN report that the reinstatement petition won’t be considered until after the Super Bowl. Which suggests that perhaps the reinstatement effort will be considered before the Super Bowl.
But Aiello tells PFT that there is “[n]othing to report” on the situation, with the Super Bowl only 18 days away. And a source with knowledge of the situation says nothing is happening, at all. Which means that the ESPN report may have indeed been completely accurate.
The right outcome, in our view, would be to consider reinstatement now. Payton has missed his season. With offensive line coach Aaron Kromer gone, the Saints need to replace him. But Payton can have no involvement in that until he is reinstated. If that doesn’t happen until after the Super Bowl, the Saints may end up with someone other than whoever it is they want.
With the Super Bowl festivities descending on New Orleans soon, the pressure on the league office to consider the reinstatement will only increase. Some believe that, at a certain level, the delay traces to a personal conflict between Goodell and Payton. Regardless, the one-year suspension is now potentially impacting future years, given the impact on Payton’s ability to fill the holes on his staff.