Jay Glazer spoke to Coach Payton as soon as news of his unprecedented punishment was released. Here's Glazer's account:
"I did talk to him and he’s stunned to say the least," Glazer said. "I think the entire team thought maybe there’d be a four-game suspension, but not a year. I said, ‘Are you OK?’ And he said, ‘No, I’m not OK.’ He is stunned. He’s going to lose about $8 million. He is beside himself here."
Glazer reports that Payton’s plan for the four-game suspension he had braced himself for was to have assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt take over as interim head coach while Payton served the suspension. But that plan is now out the window because Vitt has been suspended six games for his own role in the bounty scandal.
It's clear that Payton and the Saints were not expecting anything this severe. Why could Roger Goodell not give Payton and Benson more indication of what he was about to do when they met with him personally in New York last week? It seems this is personal for Goodell due to the fact that he claims he was lied to. Maybe he was lied to, but this is excessive and, make no mistake about it, ends the Saints' 2012 season five months before it actually begins.
Quarterback Drew Brees: I am speechless. Sean Payton is a great man, coach, and mentor. The best there is. I need to hear an explanation for this.
Former running back Deuce McAllister: We take the good with the bad. You find out who's in and who's out and you go play ball. Its an attitude @Saints
JoLonn Dunbar: Can we all say #excessive"
Punter Thomas Morstead: This is unbelievable!!! Feels like I just got punched in the gut
Offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod: Reaallllyyyy!!!
Former special teams ace Steve Gleason: Well... @Saints will facing some adversity. Which is where we find our heroes. -SG #AutomaticOptimist
Running back Pierre Thomas: this ish crazy!!!
Former defensive end Bobby McCray: SMH... Makes no sense..a Joke to the fullest.
Courtney Roby: Wow..