Sean Payton told to call if he talks

Updated: April 17, 2012, 11:03 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Under the terms of his season-long suspension for his role in New Orleans' bounty program, coach Sean Payton is not allowed to have any contact with the Saints organization or anyone around the NFL, and if he does, must report it to league executive Ray Anderson, a source familiar with the suspension tells ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Thus, when Payton's suspension began Monday, he essentially was cut off from every Saints employee and any coaching friend he has around the league until the day after the 2013 Super Bowl, when the suspension is scheduled to end.

Payton and Saints general manager Mickey Loomis have beach houses about one mile apart from each other in Florida. They cannot, by the NFL's law, say hello to each other on the beach without Anderson being informed of it.

The NFL's investigation into the Saints found Payton initially lied about the existence of a bounty program and instructed his defensive assistants to do the same.

The Saints have been fined $500,000 and stripped of two second-round draft picks. Loomis is suspended for the first eight games of the upcoming season, while interim head coach Joe Vitt -- who took over that role Monday -- will be barred for the first six regular-season games.

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who oversaw the bounty system in which opponents were targeted for hits that could sideline or injure them, is suspended indefinitely. He left New Orleans in January to become defensive coordinator in St. Louis.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to soon punish Saints players for their roles in the program. Between 22 and 27 current and former Saints defenders were involved, according to the league investigation.

Meanwhile, quarterback Drew Brees says there was no real progress when the NFL Players Association and the league discussed the bounty program at the league's offices on Monday.

"We didn't get any meaningful evidence, or any meaningful truth or facts," Brees told NFL.com after the meetings.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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