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Saints expected only a 4 game suspension...
Apparently the Saints, knowing the league was upset, had already put in place a contingency plan designed to help the team deal with the impending suspension of Sean Payton.
Wise move, right?
The problem: All their plans were based on the expectation that it would be a four game suspension that wouldn't have been in effect until September.
Saints were bracing for a four-game suspension for Payton
When the NFL initially cracked the case of the Saints’ bounty program, coach Sean Payton didn’t believe he’d be suspended at all. Once Payton appreciated the gravity of the situation, he understood a suspension was coming.
A league source tells PFT that Payton and the Saints specifically expected a four-game suspension. Per the source, a plan already had been concocted for getting the interim head coach ready to take the reins, and Payton would have hunkered down and spent the month preparing for the games to be played later in the season.
And so a full-season suspension was jarring to Payton and to the organization.
Florio goes on to argue that team leadership was dumb to not at least consider the possibility that it might have been longer. He also points out that given what happened, it actually could have been even worse.
So now, not only do we know that the punishment is going to be a painful one; we also know that the Saints organization thought they were well-prepared for it...
...but it turns out they really weren't