Saints, Sean Payton can discuss deal

The New Orleans Saints have been given written permission by the NFL to negotiate a contract extension with suspended coach Sean Payton.

"The league office has communicated fully on this matter with the Saints and we are confident that it will be resolved in an appropriate and timely fashion," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

The development was earlier reported by Fox Sports.

The contract extension agreed upon by Payton and the Saints was rejected by the league because it contained a clause allowing Payton to leave if general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended or departed the organization.

Loomis, who returned from his eight-game suspension as a result of the NFL's bounty investigation last week, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune last week that he thinks a deal with Payton will get done.

"I absolutely expect Sean to be our coach next year and going forward. These contract issues will be resolved," Loomis told the newspaper.