Aint’s are back: Saints Sean Payton done for the 2012 season

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The news hit just as a storm front drifted over the Mercedes-Benz Superdome: New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for one year for his role in the bounty scandal.

The NFL has found that Payton and his assistant coaches were involved in paying his players to injure and/or knock-out certain opposition players in they years 2009-2011. Greg Willaims, the former defensive coordinator who is now with the St. Louis Rams, has been suspended indefinitely. Other penaltites include the following:

Head coach Sean Payton suspended without pay for 2012 season, effective April 1.

• Ex (and current Rams) defensive coordinator Gregg Williams suspended indefinitely, effective immediately. Commissioner Roger Goodell will review Williams’ status at conclusion of ’12 season.

• Saints fined $500,000.

Forfeit second-round picks in the ’12 and ’13 NFL drafts.

GM Mickey Loomis suspended without pay for first eight regular-season games of the ’12 season.

Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt is suspended without pay for the first six regular-season games of the 2012 season.

The Saints, individuals disciplined are expected to participate in efforts to develop programs that will instruct on:

— Respect for game and those who participate in it

— Principles of fair play, safety and sportsmanship

— Ensure bounties will not be part of football at any level.

This is a huge blow to the New Orleans Saints. Now the question becomes whether Drew Brees will re-sign with the team and play in 2012.

The NFL report on the matter raises questions as to whether Mr. Payton, the coaches, and the organization were less than truthful with the league investigation as far back as 2010. As such, Payton’s future with the team appears to be an open question.

This could be the beginning of the end for this team’s run. If you see Chase Daniel trot out on the field for opening day you better get your old Schwegmann paper bags–it’ll be a long., long, long, season.

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By George Vourvoulias

George is a founding member and managing member of Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C., a New Orleans law firm. George concentrates his practice in maritime personal injury, construction litigation, personal injury, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, and DUI defense. George Vourvoulias's Google+ Profile