|Roger Goodell's suspensions for Saints GM Mickey Loomis, left, and Sean Payton are now over . (Getty Images)|
With the NFL's media and fans descending on New Orleans for the Super Bowl in 12 days (and counting!), commissioner Roger Goodell gave Saints fans some good news Tuesday morning. He's reinstated suspended coach Sean Payton, effective immediately.
This means Payton can travel to the Senior Bowl -- check out our coverage here-- and begin working on the NFL Draft and the upcoming 2013 season.
Payton and Goodell met Monday, and Goodell decided it was time to give back Payton's job after his yearlong suspension for his role in the Saints bounty program.
“We had a very productive discussion,” Goodell said in a statement. “Sean fully complied with all the requirements imposed on him during his suspension. More important, it is clear that Sean understands and accepts his responsibilities as a head coach and the vital role that coaches play in promoting player safety and setting an example for how the game should be played at all levels. We are committed to delivering football that fans love and the safety players deserve. Coach Payton agrees and I look forward to working with him going forward to do that.”
Said Payton in a statement: "I am thankful today Commissioner Goodell has granted me reinstatement. As I stated back in March, I, along with Mickey Loomis, take full responsibility for all aspects of our football program. I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violations. Furthermore, I have assured the Commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed. Lastly, I feel we have learned from our mistakes and are ready to move forward. I want to thank our owner, Mr. Benson and all of our great fans for the overwhelming support throughout this past year. I am excited to be back as head coach of the New Orleans Saints!”
But what does this mean for the Saints fans who have so much anger toward Goodell (check out this interesting piece by Yahoo! Sports' Les Carpenter)?
All the vendors hoping to sell "Free Sean Payton" shirts next week just took a hit.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) January 22, 2013
But what about former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was suspended indefinitely for his role? According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, Williams is free to look for another NFL job, and if he lands one, Goodell would decide about reinstatement.
Writes La Canfora: "It it is possible Williams could be back before the Super Bowl as well."
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.