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Payton appeal slows looming exodus

Sean Payton will not go quietly into the night.

As expected, the Saints coach plans to appeal a season-long suspension for his involvement in the team's "bounty" program, a league source told NFL Network's Jason La Canfora Friday.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has indicated the appeal process will move swiftly. From a distance, it appears unlikely to go Payton's way, so what is the point?

Gregg Williams bypassed an appeal and has essentially evaporated into deep space, but the Saints former defensive coordinator has no choice but to act like a good boy. He's waiting to see if he'll ever coach again.

Payton, conversely, has been somewhat of a defiant figure through the entire process, irking the league at the NFL Annual Meeting by failing to address NFL owners and coaches.

Payton is a coach first, determined to buy his team an ounce of breathing room as they plan for the season ahead.

A week -- even a few days -- gives Payton and his coaching staff time to put the house in order before he descends into the wilderness. More time to reach consensus on an interim head coach, crystalize draft philosophy and form strategy for what should be a most unusual 2012 season in The Big Easy.

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