“That’s their decision. They need to make those decisions, and we’ll move forward,” Goodell said Monday at the opening of an NFL pop-up store featuring new team apparel. “Bill’s a great coach, and I’m sure [he] will add a lot of personality and intrigue. And he’s as competitive as they get, so I’m sure he’ll do a good job.”
Before the Saints pick someone to run the team this year, though, Goodell still has to rule on Payton’s appeal of his season-long suspension, along with the appeals of shorter suspensions to assistant coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis and penalties handed down to the team.
Goodell expects to hear the appeals this week and hopes to making a ruling shortly thereafter.
Meanwhile, league officials were meeting with NFL Players’ Association representatives Monday about penalties involving players who took part in the bounty program.
The union has asked the NFL to provide it with all the information from the league’s investigation that revealed 22 to 27 defensive players were part of the Saints‘ pay-for-pain bounty pool. The pool awarded thousands of dollars in cash bonuses from 2009 through ‘11 for hits that knocked targeted opponents out of games.
One example, according to the league: Linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to any New Orleans player who sidelined Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre during the 2010 NFC championship game.
Goodell said the league has given the NFLPA two confidential reports on the investigation.
“I think we all need to move forward,” he said. “We’ve been open about what we’ve been able to find. We released it publicly.”
The commissioner said he’s hopeful the NFLPA will have a recommendation soon after meeting with league officials.