New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton will appeal his one-year suspension, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
I see upside and downside to this and I think the downside is far greater.
The upside is that Payton buys himself a few more days. His suspension was supposed to start Sunday. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell previously has said Payton would remain in place as the coach of the Saints if he appealed the suspension.
That means Payton can continue to work with general manager Mickey Loomis to come up with a plan to put another coach in place. It also means Payton can continue to prepare plans for his successor to follow. That’s the upside, but it’s only going to last a few days.
Goodell made it very clear at the recent owners meeting that any appeal would be heard quickly. I think that means we can expect a decision on the appeal sometime next week. Does Payton really gain anything from delaying what’s inevitable for a few days? Goodell’s the one who made the decision on the punishment, so he’s not likely to change anything, unless Payton presents a very compelling reason.
The appeal might be a short-sighted move because it basically erases the previous statements by Payton that he’s sorry for what happened. The appeal could send a message to Goodell that Payton is not contrite after all.
I was thinking there was a chance if Payton did not appeal and continued to appear humbled by the punishment, the commissioner might give him a break and reinstate him perhaps around the second half of the season. Loomis is suspended for the first eight games of next season and I believed there was a realistic chance Payton could end up coming back at the same time.
Now, I seriously doubt that will happen. I think the only thing the appeal guarantees is a few more days for Payton to put plans in place, and it also assures that he’ll be suspended for the entire season.