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Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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NFL allows Sean Payton to attend Willie Roaf's Hall of Fame induction

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Payton's Eyes ... they're watching you. They know your every move. (US Presswire)

Suspended Saints coach Sean Payton -- exiled from the NFL for a full year -- really is just not going to go away quite yet. His face is awkwardly plastered on the wall at Saints training camp and now he's going to be hanging out in Canton, Ohio over the weekend for Willie Roaf's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Per our old friend Larry Holder, now of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, NFL VP of Communications Greg Aiello confirmed that Payton was granted permission to attend Roaf's induction.

Making things slightly awkward is the fact that the entire Saints team will be in Canton to play the Cardinals in the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday night. But it won't be a big old family reunion: according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Payton isn't allowed into the Saints team hotel and he won't be allowed at the game on Sunday night.

That shouldn't be surprising, since those are basic tenants of his suspension. However, Payton will be sitting at Roaf's table on Friday night at the induction dinner and, according to Mortensen, can have "social interaction: with Saints players and coaches.

Payton's required by his suspension to contact NFL VP of Football Operations Ray Anderson within 24 hours of contact with NFL-related personnel. Presumably, a lot of NFL-related people will be at the dinner, so perhaps Payton can simply tell Anderson in person.

Regardless, it's going to be really awkward if Payton's having a conversation with Joe Vitt only to have Roger Goodell walk up and both guys get really quiet.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

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