The NFL reinstated New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, effective immediately, after a year-long suspension, the league announced Tuesday.
Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season for his role in the Saints' pay to injure campaign which also saw four other players get handed suspensions. Those suspensions were overturned by an appeals court allowing those players to participate in games. This season, the Saints went 7-9 and missed the playoffs.
"We had a very productive discussion,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “Sean fully complied with all the requirements imposed on him during his suspension. More important, it is clear that Sean understands and accepts his responsibilities as a head coach and the vital role that coaches play in promoting player safety and setting an example for how the game should be played at all levels. We are committed to delivering football that fans love and the safety players deserve. Coach Payton agrees and I look forward to working with him going forward to do that.”
Payton is now allowed to attend the Senior Bowl this week in Mobile, Ala. Payton has a 68-43 record in seven seasons as the Saints head coach with a Super Bowl title won in 2010.
"I am thankful today Commissioner Goodell has granted me reinstatement," Payton said in a statement. "As I stated back in March, I, along with Mickey Loomis, take full responsibility for all aspects of our football program. I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violations. Furthermore, I have assured the Commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed."