Source: Sean Payton to file appeal

Updated: March 30, 2012, 10:52 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton will file an appeal of his one-year suspension Friday in which he also will ask for the commissioner's guidance on the ban's parameters, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Roger Goodell has said Payton has until Monday to appeal and, if he does, he could stay on as coach pending an expedited hearing.

Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said the team and general manager Mickey Loomis have filed separate appeals with the league.

Saints linebackers coach Joe Vitt also will appeal his six-game suspension, according to his attorney, David Cornwell. No date for the appeal has been set yet.

"(Vitt) and I discussed our concern that his appeal be consistent with the (NFL coaches) association's view that coaches also coach sportsmanship and fair play," Cornwell texted Friday. "Based on these discussions, I am confident that Joe's appeal and his long history in the NFL are consistent with our belief that there is no place at any level of football for bounties that target players."

A source in the league office told ESPN's Rachel Nichols that if Payton appealed, the hearing and ruling would come in "days, not weeks," and that any notion Payton could extend his working status through the draft in late April is inaccurate.

Payton has said another advantage to an appeal is it would give him the opportunity for another face-to-face meeting with Goodell, in order to clarify the terms of his suspension. Goodell said Monday that while Payton definitely cannot "coach from home," he would not necessarily be banned from all contact with the team.

The NFL informed the Saints after the 2009 season, according to Payton, about its awareness of a pay-for-hits bounty system and that it needed to stop.

Payton has several options in finding a temporary replacement. He could reach into his staff and promote Vitt, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., offensive line coach Aaron Kromer or defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Carmichael, according to a source, would prefer to just call plays, and Vitt is suspended for six games. If Spagnuolo is promoted, Payton might have to find a new defensive coordinator.

Vitt's suspension does not start until the regular season, so he could coach the team through training camp before New Orleans decides whether a coach such as Carmichael or Spagnuolo would take over while Vitt serves his suspension.

Payton and Mickey also have met with retired coach Bill Parcells.

That meeting happened on Tuesday before Payton flew back to New Orleans from the NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach, Fla., to finish planning for the 2012 season.

"We played golf," Parcells told the New York Daily News. "We really didn't talk about the job. They told me they would be in touch."

Parcells, sources have told ESPN's Chris Mortensen, has discussed possibly coaching the Saints for the coming season.

"If the opportunity presents itself, I'll think it over and clearly I'm in some phase of the process without knowing whether it's going to become a reality," Parcells told Mortensen by phone on Wednesday. "Sean's become a dear, dear friend. I'm trying to be a friend."

Information from ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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