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Saints' Payton reinstated

The SportsXchange

The New Orleans Saints have their leader back on the sidelines.

Head coach Sean Payton met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday and was reinstated from his season-long suspension, the league announced.

The reinstatement is immediate, meaning Payton can attend this week's Senior Bowl and resume his duties as head coach of the team.

In the meeting, Payton took responsibility for the actions of his coaching staff in the team's bounty scandal that resulted in his suspension. He pledged to "uphold the highest standards of the NFL and ensure that his staff and players do so as well."

"We had a very productive discussion," commissioner Goodell said in a statement. "Sean fully complied with all the requirements imposed on him during his suspension. More important, it is clear that Sean understands and accepts his responsibilities as a head coach and the vital role that coaches play in promoting player safety and setting an example for how the game should be played at all levels. We are committed to delivering football that fans love and the safety players deserve. Coach Payton agrees and I look forward to working with him going forward to do that."

The Saints also released a statement.

"We are all thankful that Sean Payton has been reinstated. We have a lot of work to do and we are in the middle of it right now. He is our head coach and we welcome him back. We look forward to a great 2013 season and making another run at a World Championship for our fans."
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