Charles was punished by the NFL on Friday for a 2014 road-rage incident that occurred when he was a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. Charles joined the Saints’ practice squad last year, then he was sentenced to a two-year diversion period this past February.
“We were on top of all that. None of that was a surprise,” Payton said. “He's been very forthright; we’ve communicated with him. And he's been very open … with the league and with ourselves.”
Charles, who was drafted by the Bengals in the fourth round in 2012, appears to have a decent chance of cracking New Orleans’ 53-man roster. Mostly a blocking specialist, Charles is competing with newly signed veteran Kevin Brock and undrafted rookie Jack Tabb for a backup role behind Benjamin Watson and Josh Hill.
The Saints would have to find another alternative for at least the first week of the regular season, though, as Charles’ suspension will occur in Week 1.