Saints express regret; ask for fans' support

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - The New Orleans Saints say they recognize "our fans' concerns" about Sean Payton's yearlong suspension and other punishments stemming from the NFL's bounty investigation.

In a written statement from the team Wednesday, the Saints also say they are humbled by the support they've received from fans on the heels of the NFL penalties, which include an eight-game suspension for general manager Mickey Loomis, a six-game suspension for linebackers coach Joe Vitt and a $500,000 fine for the franchise.

The Saints are asking that fans stick with them as they have in the past, when the team and city "have overcome greater adversities."

The statement also apologizes to the NFL, adding that the club takes "full responsibility for these serious violations" and there is "no place for bounties" in football.

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