Sean Payton surfaces on golf course

April, 25, 2012
4/25/12
1:06
PM ET
In a normal year, Sean Payton would be in the bunker the day before the draft.

But, as we all know, this is far from a normal year for Payton and the Saints. New Orleans doesn’t even have a pick in the draft until the third round and Payton is suspended.

Payton had been out of the public eye since his season-long suspension began two weeks ago. But he resurfaced Wednesday, playing in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans pro-am event and was paired with PGA Tour player Ryan Palmer. There’s no doubt Palmer and Payton conversed as they played.

But, here’s the weird thing: Payton isn’t allowed to have contact with anyone that works for the Saints while he’s suspended. Several New Orleans players and Saints employees also were playing in the event. I understand the NFL doesn’t want Payton coaching the Saints from a distance while he’s suspended.

That’s understandable. But I think it’s a little ridiculous that Payton couldn’t even say a casual hello to kicker Garrett Hartley, offensive tackle Zach Strief or some long-time co-workers that also were playing in the event.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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