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Saints Punishment: Suspensions Upheld, Fines Could Be Reduced

Last week the NFL heard appeals from members of the New Orleans Saints including head coach Sean Payton, GM Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt. The appeals weren't expected to be successful considering NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is the one who initially filed the discipline and the one who heard the appeals.

According to an NFL statement, Goodell will not reduce the suspensions for those involved. For Payton, that's one full season. Loomis received eight games and Vitt received six games. The Saints organization was docked two second round picks and fined $500,000.

Payton's suspension, originally scheduled for early April, will now start on April 16, which is exactly one week away. There are likely in-house candidates to replace Payton for the season. Bill Parcells has also been considered, though it's unclear where the Saints stand on possibly using him as an interim coach.

The suspensions for Loomis and Vitt start at the end of the preseason.

One bit of good news for the Saints is that the financial penalties -- the fines -- could be reduced. The Saints organization itself was fined $500,000 in light of the bounty scandal. Others were suspended without pay. For Payton, that's the loss of several million dollars in salary. It's unclear when Goodell will decide on the financial penalties.

The NFL's statement says Goodell will review the status of each of those involved at the conclusion of their suspensions to determine their reinstatement status.

Gregg Williams, former Saints defensive coordinator, is still suspended indefinitely.

Check out all the details of the investigation here. Visit SB Nation's Saints blog, Canal Street Chronicles.