By Eric Schmidt

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has informed New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton that he has been reinstated to his position effective immediately this afternoon. Payton has been serving a one-year suspension imposed by the NFL for his role in the Saints Bountygate scandal that rocked the team this offseason. Multiple sources have all reported this news at the exact time.

Payton is now free to rejoin the Saints and have communication with the Saints organization and his players. Terms of his suspension required no contact between Payton and any member of the Saints team or front office.Payton will likely join front office personnel at this week’s Senior Bowl.

During the season, the NFL league office voided his contract extension he agreed to last year, potentially making him a free agent this offseason. Payton signed another contract with the Saints and will remain as the team’s head coach for the foreseeable future.

Payton issued an official statement posted on the team’s official website:

“I am thankful today Commissioner Goodell has granted me reinstatement. As I stated back in March.  I, along with Mickey Loomis, take full responsibility for all aspects of our football program. I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violations. Furthermore, I have assured the Commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed. Lastly, I feel we have learned from our mistakes and are ready to move forward. I want to thank our owner, Mr. Benson and all of our great fans for the overwhelming support throughout this past year. I am excited to be back as Head Coach of the New Orleans Saints!”

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