NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he won’t stand in the way if the New Orleans Saints ask Bill Parcells to take over as interim coach for suspended Sean Payton.
“That’s their decision. They need to make those decisions and we’ll move forward,’’ Goodell said Monday. “Bill’s a great coach, and I’m sure he will add a lot of personality and intrigue. And he’s as competitive as they get so I’m sure he’ll do a good job.’’
Before the Saints pick someone to run the team this year, though, Goodell still has to rule on Payton’s appeal of his season-long suspension, along with the appeals of shorter suspensions to assistant coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis and penalties handed down to the team.
Goodell expects to hear the appeals this week, and hopes to making a ruling shortly thereafter.
“Part of it depends exactly when the appeal is going to be, and second of all what information comes up in the appeal,’’ said Goodell, who has met with Payton twice before the appeal was filed.
Meanwhile, league officials met with NFL Players’ Association representatives Monday about penalties involving players who took part in the bounty program. The union asked the NFL to provide it with all the information from the league’s investigation that revealed 22 to 27 defensive players were part of the Saints’ pay-for-pain bounty pool. The pool awarded thousands of dollars in cash bonuses from 2009-11 for vicious hits that knocked targeted opponents out of games.
Parcells, who turns 71 in August, has said he would consider coaching the Saints if asked. Payton and Loomis played golf with the former NFL coach last week to talk to him about the team’s predicament.
There has been criticism of Goodell for allowing Payton to participate in picking his successor, but the commissioner says the decision rests with Saints owner Tom Benson.
Leaf arrested again
Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was arrested again in Montana, just days after he posted bail on similar charges that he burglarized a home and stole prescription drugs. Leaf was first arrested Friday after police found oxycodone pills in his golf bag that an acquaintance later said Leaf stole from his home. Then early Monday, three days after posting a $76,000 bond, he was arrested again on accusations that he broke into another home outside Great Falls, Central Montana Drug Task Force commander Chris Hickman said . . . Police said Lions running back Mikel Leshoure was caught chewing marijuana during a traffic stop in southwestern Michigan. The incident on March 12 occurred less than a month after police in a different Berrien County community said they caught Leshoure with marijuana . . . Wide receiver Torry Holt, a seven-time Pro Bowler with the Rams and a member of the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2000s, will sign a one-day contract with the franchise and then retire. The team set a news conference for Wednesday to honor Holt, who spent his first 10 seasons with the Rams after being a first-round pick in 1999.