Report: Sean Payton is appealing his one-year NFL suspension
Rachel Nichols at ESPN has been told by sources that a decision from Roger Goodell on the Sean Payton appeal could come in "days, not weeks". Payton's suspension was scheduled to take effect Sunday, April 1.
It sounds like Payton still expects to booted from the Saints' sidelines for at least a few games. Adam Schefter's report on ESPN notes that Payton is indeed appealing the suspension decision, but also asking for specific suspension parameters.
Meaning that Payton is requesting a concrete set of guidelines for what he can and can't do during the suspension. This indicates Payton does expect to serve some suspension time.
Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt will also appeal his suspension. Vitt is suspended for only six games of the 2012 season. No dates have been set yet for the hearing of Payton's or Vitt's appeals.
Before you laugh off Payton's appeal as hopeless, realize that this tactic worked pretty well for Ben Roethlisberger. You'll recall the once-philandering Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback was originally handed a six-game suspension for a 2010 sexual assault incident in Milledgeville, GA. When Big Ben appealed, smaller suspension resulted. Roger Goodell reduced Roethlisberger's suspension to four games, as long as Roethlisberger complied with a mandatory "professional behavior evaluation".
In other words, sometimes you can trade a slap on the wrist for a couple games worth of suspension time in the court of Roger Goodell. Payton can say that he'll go to a workshop or something, and then maybe be back on the Saints' sidelines by Thanksgiving. That's the plan, at least.
It is, however, true that the Saints have met with Bill Parcells as a possible one-year interim coach. The ESPN report notes that Payton and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis met with Parcells Tuesday.
Parcells denies they discussed the interim coaching position.
"We played golf," Parcells said to the New York Daily News. "We really didn't talk about the job. They told me they would be in touch."
Suuuuure you didn't talk about the job, Bill Parcells. And then you ate a lunch of couscous and eggplant, because you're such a big fan of healthy vegan food.