Today NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell heard the appeals from New Orleans Saints head coach, Sean Payton, assistant coach, Joe Vitt, and general manager, Mickey Loomis, regarding the “Bountygate” suspensions. The three of them are hoping to have their suspensions reduced and if that is the case the biggest outcome would be that Payton gets to coach some games this season.
However, many believe that there is a very slim chance that their suspensions will be reduced, specifically Payton’s. Payton is set to miss the entire 2012 season if Goodell upholds his suspension. I personally do not think Goodell will reduce any of their suspensions and the entire appeal process seems like a time saving effort and an obligation on the NFL’s part as Payton, Vitt, and Loomis were entitled to appeals.
Whether or not the Saints’ officials get their suspension reduced remains to be seen and the Saints have other pressing issues to deal with as well; like who will be there interim head coach? Furthermore, ESPN reported that after the meeting with Goodell Payton had no comment, and Vitt had this to say in regards to the likelihood of his reduced suspension, “I have no feel for that.” Obviously the Saints’ staff is not too optimistic about the possibility of the reduction to their suspensions.
It is no coincidence that on the day of the appeal hearings an audio tape was released in which former Saints defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, instructed players to “kill” some of the San Francisco 49ers’ players in last season’s divisional playoff game. This surely will not help Payton, Vitt, and Loomis in their appealing process and Goodell will most likely reject their appeals. However, I think Goodell will reject the appeals whether he has heard the audio tape or not. Goodell is not one to change his mind so hastily and I really do not think anything will change with the Saints’ suspensions.