All parties who appealed their punishments in the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" scandal will have their cases heard Thursday at NFL headquarters in New York, multiple sources said and the league later confirmed.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will listen to appeals from the Saints ($500,000 fine, two lost draft picks), coach Sean Payton (suspension for the 2012 season), general manager Mickey Loomis (eight-game suspension) and assistant head coach Joe Vitt (six-game suspension), according to league spokesman Greg Aiello. Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, now with the St. Louis Rams, didn't appeal his indefinite suspension.
Goodell, who will hear and rule on the appeals, has said he hopes to expedite the process. There is little thought any discipline would be reduced, but the appeals process could buy all parties more time to chart their futures while punishment is being administered.
The NFL has yet to rule on the 22 to 27 players cited in the bounty scandal, but discipline could be meted out in the near future. NFL security and league officials met with representatives from the NFL Players Association on Monday to go over evidence.
Goodell said he hopes to receive a recommendation from NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith regarding player discipline before ruling. However, NFLPA sources said Smith might not offer counsel on punishment.
Goodell has sole authority to punish players.
According to the league, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to any New Orleans player who sidelined Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre during the NFC Championship Game in the 2009 season. No other players involved have been publicly identified by the NFL.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.