Payton's suspension originally was scheduled for the beginning of April but now will start April 16. So the appeal successfully bought Payton and the Saints more time to plan for the 2012 season before Payton escapes to his Dallas bunker.
The Saints' offseason program also starts April 16. Look for an interim head coach to be in place by then. It makes a lot of sense for Payton to be present when the team introduces his replacement.
The only question left: Will it be an in-house candidate or will it be Bill Parcells?
The last couple of weeks of media speculation and league sources with Parcells information should give the Saints a good idea of what they are dealing with. Parcells brings attention and possibly headaches because he's not someone the organization can control.
Hiring an assistant like Pete Carmichael might create less buzz, but Parcells fits better in a potential consultant role.