Suspended Saints Coach Sean Payton attended the annual NFL owners meeting this morning in Palm Beach, Fla. He has just one week left before he beings serving his season-long suspension, The Associated Press reports.
Under Payton the New Orleans Saints engaged in a bounty pool, in which defensive players could earn money for big, injury-inducing hits on high profile and high-achieving players on the opposing team. Payton is not the only one in hot water over the bounty scandal. The team's general manager, Mickey Loomis, has been suspended for eight games, and the assistant head coach Joe Vitt has been suspended for six games. Additionally, the Saints have lost two of their second round draft picks, and were forced to pay a fine of $500,000. It is expected that several players involved in the bounty scandal will also face penalties, The Washington Post reports.
Earlier this morning, at the owners meeting, Payton addressed the press about his role in the bounty program and the subsequent attempt to cover it up.
"I think you go through a range of emotions that kind of hit you. You're disappointed in yourself that it got to this point. And then I think we're trained as coaches to begin preparation right away. I find myself reflecting on it. You go through a lot of emotions," Payton said.
Payton has until April 2 to appeal his suspension, but he is not sure if he will go down that road at this point in time. There are many other things he hopes to accomplish before the suspension begins.
"There's a lot to do here in a short period of time, as you can imagine, with the draft coming up . . . So I'm trying to get through all of that very quickly and then I think by the end of this month we'll make the decision on [appealing the suspension]," the suspended coach told the press.
This was Sean Payton's first time addressing the press since the NFL commissioner issued the suspension.