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NFL reinstates Sean Payton as Saints coach

Jan. 22, 2013 at 2:37 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Sean Payton was reinstated, effective immediately, as head coach of the New Orleans Saints, the National Football League announced Tuesday.

Payton is free to rejoin the team after his suspension for the entire 2012 season for league violations, and can attend any post-season college all-star games, including this week's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported.

Payton "pledged to uphold the highest standards of the NFL and ensure that his staff and players do so as well," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

Goodell and Payton met Monday, and both parties were satisfied by the outcome, the newspaper said.

"I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violations. I have assured the Commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed," Payton said Tuesday in a statement released by the Saints.

The league suspended Payton and several other Saints coaches and players after determining the team operated a bounty system in which players were paid bonuses for inflicting injuries on opposing players.

The Saints announced this month they had signed Payton to a new five-year contract.

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