Roger Goodell is leaning on an old friend to sweep away what remains of the New Orleans Saints bounty mess.
The NFL Commissioner told ESPN's "Mike and Mike" on Thursday that his predecessor, Paul Tagliabue, will set the timetable on hearing the appeals of the four players involved in the scandal that still swirls around the Saints.
The former commissioner was appointed to oversee the matter by Goodell, who sounded anxious to wash his hands of the affair.
"I've handed the appeal off," Goodell said. "... (Tagliabue's) in the process of going through that, and I'm letting him handle that. I have not focused on this recently."
Goodell was asked when the bounty issue will finally -- if ever -- fade away.
"It's totally within Paul's control," Goodell said. "He's thorough, and I think that's one of the reasons I selected him. He's thoughtful. He obviously understands the issues, and I think he will do a tremendous job, but the timetable has to be established by him."
Mr. Tagliabue has inherited a headache. There isn't a soul out there hoping he doesn't pull the plug on this sideshow posthaste.
Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.