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Suspended coach Sean Payton greets New Orleans Saints at Hall

  • By NFL.com
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Suspended New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was seen greeting and hugging quarterback Drew Brees and assistant coach Joe Vitt on Saturday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Ohio.

Payton cannot have contact -- even informal, non-football conversation -- with anyone on the Saints or any other NFL team without notifying the league. But Payton received permission from the NFL to attend Saturday's ceremony, although he cannot be at Sunday's Hall of Fame Game between the Saints and Arizona Cardinals.


Take a close look at the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2012: Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and Willie Roaf. Highlights, photos of NFL icons ...

Saturday might be the only time Payton can speak with members of the Saints until his suspension from the team ends after Super Bowl XLVII in February. He began serving his suspension in April.

The NFL suspended Payton for the 2012 season because of his role in the Saints' "bounty" program, which rewarded defensive players with cash for injuring opponents on the field. Vitt, who will fill in for Payton this season, will serve a six-game ban.

Two Saints-affiliated players were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday. Offensive tackle Willie Roaf played for the Saints from 1993 to 2001, and former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy worked as an advisor for the Saints after retiring from playing.

Kennedy thanked Payton and the Saints for getting him a Super Bowl ring from the 2010 season.

"Thanks for taking me to the Super Bowl," Kennedy said during his enshrinement speech. "That ring looks good on my finger."

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