Lost in the Tebow-hysteria, the NFL doled out a serious penalty to Sean Payton’s New Orleans Saints. Effective April 1st, Payton will serve a one-year suspension. The Saints will also pay fines in excess of $1 million and forfeit second round picks this year and next year. To make matters worse, the Saints have until August 1st to work out a new contract Drew Brees. Earlier this year, the Saints hit Brees with the dreaded franchise tag which Brees was extremely unhappy about. While losing Payton effectively takes the Saints out of the Super Bowl picture, the NFL had to make this move. 

Player safety has become a huge issue for the NFL. The new CBA has placed strict rules concerning concussions and the NFL will likely face lawsuits from past players dealing with the lingering effects of these injuries. By punishing the Saints, the NFL is sending a direct message to the rest of the league–cut the crap and don’t purposely hurt other players. Payton and the Saints knew the NFL was cracking down–and they decided to look the other way. The Saints gambled, thinking the NFL wouldn’t punish them, and they lost. 

For the betterment of the league, Sean Payton will not be on the sidelines this year. The Saints, who are hosting next year’s Super Bowl, can forget about playing in the game. Payton is the mastermind behind the Saint offense and losing his play calling ability crushes this team. While the Saints will obviously feel the effects of this ruling, future players will not suffer from the bravado of this barbaric mentality.