NFL Reinstates Saints’ Coach Sean Payton After Yearlong Suspension

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    (CNN) — Sean Payton’s season of exile from the National Football League is officially over.

    The NFL on Tuesday reinstated the New Orleans Saints head coach after he served a seasonlong suspension for the Saints’ bounty scandal. The reinstatement came after Payton met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and “acknowledged … his responsibility for the actions of his coaching staff and players,” an NFL news release said.

    “Sean fully complied with all the requirements imposed on him during his suspension,” Goodell said in the release. “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.”

    Payton said he was “thankful today Commissioner Goodell has granted me reinstatement.”

    “As I stated back in March, I, along with (Saints General Manager) Mickey Loomis, take full responsibility for all aspects of our football program,” Payton said in a statement released by a Saints spokesman.

    “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.”

    Payton’s reinstatement is immediate, meaning he can attend this week’s Senior Bowl, a college all-star game featuring NFL Draft prospects.

    Under the bounty program, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has said, Saints players were given incentives during the 2009 through 2011 seasons to render opposing players unable to play.

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