Payton looking at suspension options

March 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM
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PALM BEACH, Fla., March 27 (UPI) -- New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton said "all options" are being considered in the final week before his yearlong suspension is to begin.

Payton was suspended for one year by the NFL, which handed down a series of penalties related to the Saints' alleged "bounty" system in which players were rewarded for injuring opponents.

Payton's suspension is to begin Sunday.

"We're just considering all options," Payton said at the NFL owners' meeting in Florida.

"We're doing our homework on each option. There's a lot of small steps before we make that decision. A lot of it is predicated on whether there is an appeal or not."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Payton could continue working with the Saints during any appeals process.

Payton said he planned to meet with Bill Parcells, for whom Payton worked while coaching the Dallas Cowboys. Parcells is seen as a potential interim head coach while Payton serves his suspension.

Also apparently in the running to lead New Orleans in 2012 are offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who was fired last season after three years as head coach of the St. Louis Rams.

"Fortunately, we feel like we've got a number of good candidates," Payton said. "The trick then is what it does to affect their roles that they currently have."

Payton said he was "100 percent certain" he will coach the Saints in 2013.

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