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Goodell hears appeals from Saints’ Payton, Loomis
Payton declined comment Thursday after meeting with Goodell to discuss the season-long suspension he received for his role in the bounty system. Earlier, the commissioner heard appeals from general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant coach Joe Vitt.
Goodell spent six hours Thursday hearing appeals, meeting separately with team representatives, Loomis, Vitt and finally Payton. Goodell plans to make a decision quickly but has not specified a timetable.
“I thought the commissioner was extremely receptive,” Cornwell said.
Asked if he thought his punishment would be reduced, Vitt said: “I have no feel for that.”
“The commissioner’s got a tough job,” he added. “I’ve worked hard to earn the respect of my players and now I want to earn his respect.”
The former New Orleans defensive coordinator at the center of the bounties case, Gregg Williams, was suspended indefinitely and did not appeal. Williams was hired by the St. Louis Rams on Jan. 23 as their defensive coordinator.
NFL investigators concluded that from 2009-11, the Saints offered improper cash bonuses for big hits that either knocked opponents out of games or left them needing help off the field.
The appeals came on a day when a documentary maker released what he said was an audio recording of Williams speaking before the Saints‘ playoff loss to the 49ers. In a speech filled with profanities, Williams tells his defense to go after specific San Francisco players.
Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who had access to Saints meetings for a documentary on football, posted the audio on his web site. Pamphilon initially shared the content with Yahoo Sports, telling the website that while he was not bothered by much of Williams‘ profanity-laced speech, he was troubled by comments about a previously concussed player.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
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