Suspended New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton is barred from making contact… (Steve Nesius / Associated…)
Sean Payton has long considered himself a fan of the NFL.
And for the time being, that's all he is.
The suspended coach of the New Orleans Saints cannot have contact with the team or anyone in the league, and he must contact the NFL's security arm within 24 hours if he happens to cross paths with anyone on the off-limits list.
Payton began serving his one-year suspension Monday for his role in the Saints' pay-for-performance bounty scandal. His appeal of the suspension was turned down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week.
According to the league, during their suspensions, Saints coaches Payton and Joe Vitt (six games), and General Manager Mickey Loomis (eight games) "are prohibited from direct or indirect communication of any sort with employees of the 32 clubs, including through third parties; and such prohibited communications shall include, but are not limited to, phone or electronic contact ... "
What's more, unlike everyday fans, Payton and the others suspended cannot set foot in an NFL facility, stadium or office during the terms of their sanctions except as authorized by Goodell.
Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, now with the St. Louis Rams, has been suspended indefinitely.
Goodell has yet to punish the 22 to 27 players involved in the bounty program, which the Saints covered up then continued despite warnings from the league to dismantle it.
O'Malley family considering pursuit of San Diego Padres
Bobby Valentine: Is he the right choice to manage the Red Sox?
Two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum has another rough outing
NFL bars Sean Payton from contact with the Saints during suspension