Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, suspended by the NFL for his "Bountygate" role, is not yet reinstated but he is allowed to pursue NFL jobs, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Saints coach Sean Payton was reinstated after a seasonlong suspension for the scandal, the NFL announced today, and, it it is possible Williams could be back before the Super Bowl as well.
Williams, who was deemed a central figure in the bounty program, has been able to pursue coaching vacancies in the league, the sources said, and should a team consider hiring him, then commissioner Roger Goodell would consider an earlier reinstatement for Williams, too.
Originally, these suspensions were to last through the Super Bowl, with reinstatement meetings then to come later in February. With the Super Bowl in New Orleans this year, and the bounty episode still very much a point of contention among Saints fans, reinstating Payton a few weeks earlier makes common sense.
As for Williams, perhaps Tennessee -- he was a longtime coordinator for the Titans under Jeff Fisher -- could be an option as they have considered changes to their defensive staff (defensive coordinator Jerry Gray worked under Williams for years). If nothing develops in the NFL for Williams before the Super Bowl, then it is expected Goodell would then consider the matter after the final game of the season.