The NFL Network reported Friday that Payton will appeal the one-year suspension he was given earlier this month for his involvement with the Saints’ bounty scandal.
The appeal will be heard by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who levied the punishments against Payton, the Saints and other members of the organization.
By appealing, Payton hopes he can convince Goodell to lessen his suspension so that he can coach at some point during the 2012 season.
As part of the appeals process, Payton’s suspension will not begin Sunday as originally scheduled. Goodell said earlier this week that he planned an expedited hearing and subsequent ruling if Payton were to appeal.
After a lengthy investigation, the NFL found New Orleans guilty of running an illegal bounty program targeting opposing offensive players from 2009 to 2011. Financial rewards were offered from a bounty pool that reached as much as $50,000 to defenders who knocked players out of games.
Goodell ruled that Payton didn’t do enough to stop ex-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams from running the program despite knowing it had existed at one point.
Williams, the program’s ringleader, was suspended indefinitely by Goodell. General manager Mickey Loomis (eight games) and assistant head coach/linebackers Joe Vitt (six) also were sanctioned. The suspensions of both won’t go into effect until the regular season begins.
The Saints also were fined $50,000 and stripped of 2012 and 2013 second-round draft choices.
Payton and Loomis met earlier this week with Bill Parcells as a potential one-year replacement if he is suspended for the entire season. If Parcells isn’t hired, Vitt is a strong candidate to assume Payton’s head coaching duties on an interim basis until his suspension begins.