NFL upholds Saints discipline

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the discipline of New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt for violations of the NFL anti-bounty rule, the league announced as their appeals were denied. Payton was suspended for the entire year without pay, Loomis for eight games and Vitt for six.

"The club and the individuals will be expected to cooperate in any further proceedings and to assist in the development and implementation of programs to instruct players and coaches at all levels on principles of player safety, fair play, and sportsmanship, the NFL said in a statement. "If they embrace the opportunity and participate in a constructive way, Commissioner Goodell said he would consider mitigating the financial penalties on the individuals. In the case of the team, the commissioner would consider whether there are factors that would support modifying the forfeiture of the team's 2013 second-round draft choice." Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is suspended indefinitely.

He's now with the St. Louis Rams. Payton's suspension begins on April 16. Loomis and Vitt will start their suspensions at the end of the preseason.

"At the conclusion of their suspensions," the league said. "the commissioner will review the status of each of the three individuals to determine their eligibility for reinstatement."

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