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Payton explains kicker situation

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Sean Payton met with the local media Sunday and explained why the team signed veteran kicker John Carney. Payton confirmed a story by the New Orleans Times-Picayune that said the move came after the Saints found out kicker Garrett Hartley was facing a possible suspension.

"We signed John Carney with the idea that there's a probable suspension that's going to happen with Garrett Hartley,'' Payton said. "Without getting into detail, I know the suspension would revolve around a drug called Adderall. It wasn't steroid related, but nonetheless it's a banned substance that he used to stay awake while driving one night. Once we were made aware of that, then we had to quickly have a plan in place to bring in another kicker.

Carney was with the Saints from 2001 through 2006 and Payton has admitted he regretted ever letting the kicker go as the team has struggled at that position the last two years. Carney spent last year with the Giants and made the Pro Bowl.

"John was the guy that we felt comfortable with,'' Payton said. "He was the guy last year, to be honest with you, when he was with New York and we were going through the different options at kicker, we were hoping that he would've come off their roster but he never did. We had the opportunity to contact him and get him signed and really that's in the likely event that Garrett ends up missing the first four weeks of the season. It wasn't a result of Garrett's performance. I can understand the speculation as to why but that's really it, there are no underlying factors there. It's the likely suspension to Garrett and we felt like (John) gives us somebody with experience that can come in after the season that he had a year ago and we're obviously familiar with him."