There’s a story by The New York Times that is causing a bit of a stir. The basic premise of the story is that, due to modern technology, it would be difficult for the NFL to enforce its ban on suspended New Orleans coach Sean Payton from having any contact with his team or anyone else in the league.
The story also said that several New York Giants players said they think Payton might be communicating with his team.
“Of course he will get his message to them somehow,’’ Giants punter Steve Weatherford said. “I’m not saying anything about Sean Payton as a person or anything, but I think any coach would do that. It’s not like he’s just going to sit at home and watch the games and not have any thoughts. His message will be heard.”
It might be important to note that Weatherford used to play for the Saints. In 2008, he played the first seven games for New Orleans. The seventh game was in Charlotte and the Saints were leaving from there to play a game in London. Before they got on the plane, they released Weatherford.
The quotes from Weatherford were the only real suggestion in the story that Payton might be violating the terms of his suspension. There haven’t been any other reports that even suggest Payton has attempted to have contact with anyone from the Saints.
The league even gave him permission to briefly meet with his team before the Hall of Fame Game in August and to attend a home game in which quarterback Drew Brees broke the record for most consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass.
The league also has said Payton has permission to negotiate a new contract with the Saints while he’s suspended.
Understandably, New Orleans fans get worried any time there’s even a hint that there could be more trouble stemming from the bounty saga.
But the Times story didn’t definitively allege Payton has had forbidden contact with the Saints. The real theme of the story was that it would be difficult for the league to determine if Payton was communicating with his team. Unless the league accuses Payton of violating the rule, I don't think there's anything for New Orleans fans to get nervous about.