By The Associated Press
NEW YORK — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has rejected the appeals of coach Sean Payton and other New Orleans Saints officials stemming from the league’s probe into the club’s bounty system.
After hearing from Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt last week, Goodell decided Monday to uphold his initial sanctions, which include Payton’s suspension for the entire 2012 season. That penalty begins April 16.
The Saints now must find an interim coach from candidates including top assistants as well as retired coach Bill Parcells.
Suspensions of eight games for Loomis and six games for Vitt will begin when the preseason ends. Also upheld were the team’s $500,000 fine and loss of second-round draft picks this year and next.
Goodell says he would consider lowering the financial penalties, and “modifying the forfeiture” of the 2013 draft pick.