Saints coach Sean Payton says NFL was pushing to have him fired after Bountygate – CBSSports.com

One of the harshest penalties ever given to an NFL coach was handed down in 2012 when the league dropped the hammer on Saints coach Sean Payton for the role he allegedly played in the team’s bounty scandal. 

In March 2012, Payton was given a one-year suspension following the NFL‘s investigation into allegations that the team was paying bounties to defensive players for any crushing hits that they would make on their opponents.  

Although the one-year suspension was harsh, apparently the NFL wanted to go even further than that. According to Payton, the league actually pushed to have him fired from his job. Payton described his version of events this week during an interview on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger.”

According to Payton, the league office wanted him fired because they were trying to “break” him. 

“When you say a year and you’re not able to talk to any coach and you’re not able to talk to any other player and you know that the league office actually contacted two other owners to talk to Mr. Benson about finding a way to have you fired,” Payton said. “Like, they are trying to break you.”

Payton said he only knew about the potential firing because former Saints owner Tom Benson shared the information with him. 

“Well, I just know that the late Mr. Benson — to his credit — came to me and said, ‘I had just gotten two calls from two other league owners,’ and I knew that came from the league office,” Payton said. 

Basically, the two owners tipped Benson off that the league office wanted Payton fired. Payton was thankful for the tip and actually thanked both owners at the next league meeting he was eligible to attend in 2013.

“I remember getting

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