A question many of you have asked over the past 24 hours relates to the question of whether Saints coach Sean Payton, Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis, Saints assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt, and former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams have the ability to appeal the penalties imposed on them as a result of the three-year bounty system maintained by the team.
The easy answer is that they can.
The tougher question is whether they should.
For starters, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT that any appeal will be heard by the Commissioner, pursuant to the NFL’s Constitution and Bylaws. And based on the Commissioner’s attitude as evidenced by his Wednesday media tour, he likely won’t be changing his mind.
More importantly, appealing the punishment doesn’t mesh with the repeated acceptance of “full responsibility” by Williams and, separately, by Payton and Loomis.
After being whacked hard by the league and saying all the right things (after months of lying), any goodwill the men have created will be squandered if they now try to fight the sanctions.
So, yes, they can fight. But any unlikely partial victory they secure via a reduction of the punishment will be outweighed by the style points they’d lose via the perception that they really don’t accept full responsibility.