Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the penalties levied for the Saints' bounty program, including the one-year suspension of coach Sean Payton and eight-game suspension of general manager Mickey Loomis.
Payton, Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt, who was suspended six games, visited NFL headquarters Thursday to have their appeals heard.
While the suspensions were upheld, Goodell left the door open to reducing the financial penalties for the individuals involved and to potentially modifying the second-round draft pick in 2013 the Saints were stripped of if the club and team cooperate as the league continues to investigate the bounty program. Goodell also wants the club and individuals to "assist in the development and implementation of programs to instruct players and coaches at all levels on principles of player safety, fair play, and sportsmanship."
Payton's one-year suspension without pay will begin April 16, 10 days before the start of the NFL Draft. Loomis and Vitt will begin their suspensions at the end of the preseason.
Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, now with the Rams, did not appeal his indefinite suspension. The appeals were heard the same day audio was made public of Williams exhorting his players to injure San Francisco 49ers players before a playoff game last season.
Payton and Loomis have talked with Bill Parcells about potentially serving as the Saints' interim head coach for the 2012 season, but no decision has been made as the appeals process was ongoing.
The next step in the process is for Goodell to determine punishment for players involved in the bounty program.
---The New York Jets apparently aren't done making upgrades to their secondary this offseason, and have expressed interest in free agent safety Yeremiah Bell.
Bell, 34, led the Dolphins with 107 tackles in 2011, including two sacks. He also added an interception and a fumble recovery in his eighth season with the league, all with Miami. He was released by Miami last month, and agent Drew Rosenhaus told a South Florida TV station that the Jets, Patriots and Eagles are among the teams interested in Bell's services.
The Jets already added safety LaRon Landry from Washington during free agency.
---The Philadelphia Eagles have re-signed defensive tackle Derek Landri, bringing the Notre Dame alum back for a second season with the team.
Landri, 28, made 21 tackles and recorded two sacks for the Eagles in 2011, his first season in Philadelphia after three years in Jacksonville and one in Carolina.
He's the fifth free agent to re-sign with the Eagles this off-season.
--Cornerback Marcus Trufant agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Seahawks.
Trufant, 31, was placed on injured reserve after four games last season with a back injury, and the team released the former first-round pick earlier in free agency.
---Defensive end Dave Tollefson, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants, officially signed with the Raiders.
Tollefson played five seasons with the Giants, registering five sacks in a reserve role in 2011.
---Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye agreed to a one-year deal with Tampa Bay.
The Bucs had been looking to bolster their interior depth and reportedly had interest in Derek Landri, who re-signed with the Eagles on Monday.
Okoye was solid in a rotational role for the Bears in 2011, registering 27 tackles and four sacks while appearing in all 16 games and playing in more than half of the team's defensive snaps.
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Roger Goodell
- Sean Payton
- Mickey Loomis
- Yeremiah Bell