Roger Goodell waiting on player discipline

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell already has announced suspensions for coach Sean Payton (one year) and general manager Mickey Loomis (the first eight games of the 2012 season) for their roles in the Saints’ bounty program.

He also has fined the Saints $500,000, taken away second-round draft picks this year and in 2013, and suspended assistant head coach Joe Vitt for the first six games of next season.

But what about the 22 to 27 former players allegedly involved in the bounty program that lasted three seasons? The league has said suspensions and fines are possible punishments for the players. Some of the players involved remain with the Saints, but others have moved on to other teams or are out of the NFL. Goodell said disciplinary actions for the players will come soon, but he wouldn’t set a timetable.

“I would like to do it as soon as reasonable,’’ Goodell said.

Goodell said he wants to talk with leaders of the NFL Players Association before issuing any official discipline for players. Goodell said he expects to talk to union leader DeMaurice Smith before the end of the week.

When asked if he would consider staggering suspensions if multiple Saints players were impacted, Goodell indicated it was too early to say.