The NFL expects any appeals to punishments levied in the "bounty" case -- against the New Orleans Saints, general manager Mickey Loomis, coach Sean Payton and assistant coach Joe Vitt -- to be heard this week, league spokesman Greg Aiello said Sunday.
The news that Payton planned to file an appeal of his season-long suspension broke Friday, and it later came out that Loomis also would appeal his own suspension. Currently, Loomis is suspended for the first eight games of the 2012 regular season. The Saints were fined $500,000 and docked two second-round draft picks, and Vitt was suspended for six games.
All appeals are expected to be expedited, but the real urgency is with Payton's case. His suspension was scheduled to start Sunday, and the league wants to prevent any sort of stalling. The team's appeal has some urgency, too, since a decision will need to be made on the second-round pick they were docked in April's draft, while Vitt and Loomis' suspensions don't begin until after the final preseason game.
St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who ran the "bounty" program when he was on Payton's Saints staff from 2009 through 2011, decided not to appeal his indefinite suspension after mulling his options and discussing it with confidants, a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora. Williams' status will be reviewed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the end of the 2012 season.
Payton is expected to seek guidance on the amount of time he will have to prepare his appeal, and will attempt to obtain the full reports from NFL security regarding the bounty evidence against him.
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