Sean Payton has planned the New Orleans Saints’ offseason program, done some work on the upcoming draft and jotted down ideas for the start of training camp.
And now, with his season-long suspension set to begin Sunday, Payton is checking to see if mentor Bill Parcells would run the team while he serves his penalty for allowing a Saints assistant coach and players to run a bounty system.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the Saints were sanctioned for trying to take out specific opponents, Payton said Tuesday he will soon decide whether to appeal his suspension, something Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he can do through Monday.
Payton also said he was meeting with Parcells — who lives near the site of this week’s NFL meetings in Palm Beach, Fla. — to discuss the plan for the season.
“For me to be down here, if I didn’t call him or try to set up a time to see him, I’d probably get his wrath,” Payton said.
Payton arrived at the league meetings about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, and talked for 18 minutes with reporters in a resort hotel’s lobby. He left for a breakfast meeting and departed shortly past 10 a.m., presumably for a meeting with Parcells. Payton said he, General Manager Mickey Loomis — who is facing an eight-game suspension — and team owner Tom Benson are weighing a number of scenarios.
Among them: Does Parcells want to coach?
“I think it would just be considering all options, to be fair and really trying to do our homework on each option before making a decision,” Payton said.
If Payton appeals, Goodell said he would “probably” allow him to continue working past the intended start of his suspension. Goodell also has said he would expedite the appeal process and his decision, meaning Payton might only get a few more days of work before having to step aside.
Redskins, Cowboys take hit
NFL owners ratified the agreement between the league and players’ union that takes away $36 million in salary cap space from the Redskins and $10 million from the Cowboys.
Other than Dallas and Washington, no club voted Tuesday to oppose the agreement, which raised the salary cap for 2012 from about $113 million to $120.6 million. The Cowboys and Redskins have sought arbitration, which will be conducted by University of Pennsylvania professor Stephen Burbank.
Both teams were penalized for overloading contracts in the 2010 uncapped season despite league warnings not to do so. Each must take at least half the reduction this year.
The owners also approved competition committee recommendations for points of emphasis this season, including blows to the head, horse-collar tackles and taunting.
Bengals stick by Simpson
Coach Marvin Lewis says the Cincinnati Bengals are open to offering receiver Jerome Simpson another contract, even though he could be headed to jail and faces a suspension from the NFL for violating its substance-abuse policy.
Lewis told reporters at the NFL’s owners meetings on Tuesday that he wouldn’t “rule it out” that the club could offer the free-agent receiver another contract. Simpson has spent his four NFL seasons with the Bengals.
A judge will decide whether to lessen the punishment at a hearing on April 5.
The Atlanta Falcons and veteran center Todd McClure agreed to terms on a one-year contract. … The Minnesota Vikings re-signed linebacker Erin Henderson to a one-year deal and signed former Chicago Bears cornerback Zack Bowman to a one-year contract. … The New York Jets re-signed wide receiver Scotty McKnight. The Oakland Raiders signed a one-year contract with free-agent cornerback Pat Lee. … The Detroit Lions agreed to a one-year deal with running back Kevin Smith.