strong>Sean Payton is prohibited from having any contact of any kind with the New Orleans Saints this season. By definition, he is “prohibited from direct or indirect communication of any sort with employees of the 32 clubs, including through third parties; and such prohibited communications shall include, but are not limited to, phone or electronic contact.” While we’re not saying Payton has ever violated those terms, we have no way of knowing for sure.
Many people feel it would be naive to think that Payton hasn’t spoken to his team at any point this season. One of those people is New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford.
“Of course he will get his message to them somehow,” Weatherford and other unnamed Giants reportedly told the NY Times. “I’m not saying anything about Sean Payton as a person or anything, but I think any coach would do that. It’s not like he’s just going to sit at home and watch the games and not have any thoughts. His message will be heard.”
Weatherford could be right. Even if it’s through a person who knows a person who knows a person who talks to an assistant coach, it would not be surprising to hear that Payton somehow gives the Saints feedback after he watches the games. Rick Nelson, a counterterrorism and intelligence expert who works at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the NY Times that there are a number of discreet options Payton could use to keep in touch with the team and there would be “very little” the NFL could do about it.
Whatever the case, the Saints are 5-7 and likely out of the playoff race. Even if Payton has been in contact with the team through some means during the regular season, it clearly hasn’t been enough to make a difference.
H/T Shutdown Corner