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Saints, Suspended Coach Payton Reach Contract Extension, AP Says

The New Orleans Saints have reached a contract extension with coach Sean Payton who missed the past season in connection with the National Football League’s bounty probe, the Associated Press reported, citing people familiar with the deal.

Final details of the length of the contract and financial compensation are still being discussed, AP reported.

Payton, who took the Saints to a Super Bowl victory at the end of the 2009 season, would have started his seventh season as the team’s coach in 2012 before he was suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for failing to exert proper control over a bounty program that paid cash for hits on opposing players.

The new agreement must be approved by the NFL, which rejected a 2011 extension that would have kept Payton with the Saints until 2015, AP said.

Payton is 62-34 in regular-season games as Saints head coach and 5-3 in the postseason. During the three seasons before his suspension, the Saints won 41 regular-season and playoff games combined, more than any other team in the NFL.

Payton is expected to return to the Saints after the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, unless Goodell allows him to return earlier, AP reported.

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