A source told Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the Saints and suspended Coach Sean Payton can immediately begin negotiating a contract extension despite the league's no-contact policy as a stipulation for Payton's season-long suspension connected to the bounty scandal.
By voiding a contract extension for Payton agreed upon early last season that would have kept him with the Saints through the 2015 season. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday that Payton could become a free agent at the end of the 2012 season.
Schefter's Monday report explains the Saints and Payton's agent, Don Yee, will not discuss the contract situation until receiving written authorization from the NFL to avoid conflicts with the coach's suspension guidelines. Fox Sports' Jay Glazer said Payton told him Sunday he absolutely plans on being with the team saying he loves working with general manager Mickey Loomis and the Benson family. Glazer also reported Payton will become the highest paid coach in the NFL.