Saints, Sean Payton, Joe Vitt, and Mickey Loomis to Appeal Bountygate Sanctions

How heavy are the Shield and the MB logo that hang over Payton's head right now? Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

Satch got the ball rolling yesterday with this post about Sean Payton (and then Joe Vitt) revealing their intentions to appeal the punishments they received for their involvement in the Saints' pay-for-performance incentive program (and the subsequent cover-up).

Late last night, James Varney of the Times-Pic/nola.com reported that Mickey Loomis and the Saints will also be appealing.

Get ready for the media frenzy known as Appealgate, everyone. You can't stop it. Heck, you can barely hope to contain it, and I'm "all in" on feeding it....for now.

With time running out, New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton, General Manager Mickey Loomis and assistant coach Joe Vitt appealed their bounty-gate suspensions Friday, while separately the team also asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to reconsider the punishments he imposed on it.

Do they have even the slightest of chances of gaining anything out of this? Varney's unsure.

There is no precedent for either the harsh penalties Goodell imposed March 21 or these appeals, and thus it was difficult to gauge what chances the men or the club have of seeing a reduction in their sentences.

Are there any real grounds for appeal? Maybe, if one looks into parsing words.

Payton and Loomis said they accept responsibility for what transpired on their watch, but neither they nor the other figures absorbed in the scandal, most notably Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams who has been suspended from football indefinitely, have ever admitted they countenanced deliberately injurious play.

There's still no substantive word yet on the punishments for the 22 to 27 players involved:

Friday's appeals come at a time Goodell is still mulling the penalties he will impose on players for their part in the scandal. The NFL says 22 to 27 Saints defenders were "willing and enthusiastic" participants in the bounty pool, although it has never identified the players other than linebacker Jonathan Vilma and it is unclear how many of that group are still on New Orleans' roster.

Goodell has said he will not impose those punishments until he has finished interviewing unnamed player leaders and conferred with the NFLPA. His meeting with union leaders, who, like the owners, held their annual meeting earlier this week, had not happened as of Friday.

* * *

And there you have it. Speculation on whether they will or won't appeal is over, and speculation on whether they should even be appealing and whether it will actually change anything can begin (and Pat Y. has gone on the record already). There's no reason why we shouldn't be a major player in that discussion, too, so let's continue what started yesterday in Satch's post, and get right to it!

Here's HansDat's Hot Read on it:

Why not?, I ask.

What do they really have to lose in this? They've already shown that they don't care what the league thinks of them. So they take a shot with an appeal that buys Payton a bit more time to continue getting "his ducks in a row" for the team (on a side note, I've never used this phrase in the deceptive, a**-covering way it's been characterized by the media recently. I've always used it to just mean get your act together and make sure you're doing everything you're supposed to do...), and gives them all at least a chance to see a reduction in these unprecedented sanctions.

* * *

How do you feel about these appeals and the whole risk/reward aspect?

Do you think there's anything the team or individuals might actually say that could persuade Goodell to reduce the penalties? If so, what?

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