|Payton's last day as head coach is Sunday. On Monday, he'll be gone for the year. (Getty Images)|
For one last day, Saints coach Sean Payton will get to be head coach in New Orleans. As Rapid Reporter Larry Holder reminds us, Payton on Monday begins his year-long suspension from his team for the bounty program that occurred during his watch from 2009-11. Joe Vitt, the Saints' linebackers coach, will take over for Payton beginning Monday. Vitt must serve a six-game suspension once the regular season starts.
As Holder writes, “Payton is expected to avoid football or operational communication during the suspension, according to the league office. Payton can apply for reinstatement in February. Payton can also recoup some of this lost wages if he abides by the NFL's stipulations.”
But we also wonder if there's some sneakiness going on in New Orleans. A few days ago, CBSSports.com Mike Freeman tweeted that he's hearing that Payton has attempted to set up a relay system “using people he trusts outside the team to then relay his thoughts to coaches.”
Whether that would violate the letter of his punishment from commissioner Roger Goodell -- or just the spirit of the suspension -- is a matter up for debate and not necessarily easily solvable.
Regardless, Payton will lose $5.6 million of his $7.1 million salary -- which, as CNBC's Darren Rovell points out, translates to about $19,000 a day.
But it's OK. Payton, if he starts to feel a pinch, likely can spend his time and recoup some of his money by playing bongos for and touring the country with Jimmy Buffett.
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