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NFL’s Goodell Awaits Revised Contract for Suspended Coach Payton

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said he has yet to receive a revised contract from the New Orleans Saints for Sean Payton after rejecting a deal the team offered the coach in September 2011.

“I have to approve any contracts, and whenever I get a contract, I’ll deal with it then,” Goodell said in an interview after speaking at the Rotary Club of Atlanta today.

The NFL rejected a multiyear extension the Saints offered Payton last year, meaning the suspended coach is only under contract through this season, based on an extension he signed in 2008.

The extension was rejected by Goodell because of a clause that would have enabled Payton to walk away from the agreement if General Manager Mickey Loomis was suspended, fired or left the organization, ESPN reported, citing people it didn’t identify. Goodell rejected the contract before suspending Loomis for his involvement in the team’s so-called bounty case, ESPN reported.

The Saints have yet to submit a revised contract to the league for approval, Goodell said today, possibly enabling Payton to join another team for the 2013 season. He is suspended without pay this season.

Payton received a one-year suspension for his part in the bounty case, which the NFL said involves payments to players for injuring opponents. Loomis was suspended for eight games, while the Saints were fined $500,000 and stripped of two draft picks.

Four players also were suspended, led by linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s season-long ban. The initial punishment for the players was thrown out in arbitration on grounds it involved compensation but was partly reinstated by Goodell under rules designed to protect the NFL’s image. That penalty is being challenged by the players.

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