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New Orleans Saints and NFL: Top News and Video Clips

Decisions are still pending on a possible appeal of Sean Payton’s suspension or an interim coach should his season-long punishment be upheld, a person familiar with the situation said. The person says Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and their staffs were in meetings at the team’s suburban headquarters Thursday and focused primarily on preparations for next month’s NFL draft. The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the Saints have not announced their plans.

I know a lot of fans in New Orleans, Atlanta and Tampa Bay have been anxious to hear the numbers on the contract linebacker Curtis Lofton recently signed with the Saints. New Orleans fans want to know because they want to see how Lofton impacts a tight cap situation. Atlanta fans want to know because the Falcons tried to keep the guy who has been their middle linebacker, but only at the right price. Tampa Bay fans want to know because the Bucs showed some mild interest in Lofton and could have been interested if his initial asking price dropped enough.

The Giants and Jetsplayed in a “winner goes to the playoffs; loser goes home” game on Christmas Eve. The Giants won, dominated headlines through January, and took home their second Lombardi Trophy in five years on Feb. 5. Before the parade confetti was even picked up from the Canyon of Heroes, “Linsanity” took hold of the Big Apple. For three weeks, the Knicks’ Jeremy Lin was the most famous guy in all of Manhattan, if not the entire country. But just as interest in the undrafted point guard out of Harvard started to fade from public consciousness, the Jets traded for Tim Tebow.

New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan have spent the past week explaining how Tim Tebow would not be their quarterback, but rather the triggerman in the latest incarnation of new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano’s Wildcat package. And on Wednesday at the NFL Annual Meeting, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll cringed when he heard about it.

Trent Richardson swept the Cleveland Brownsoff their feet — or at least one notable member of the franchise. The former Crimson Tide tailback probably left a lasting impression on Browns running backs coach Gary Brown during Round 2 of Alabama’s pro day on Thursday. Richardson bowled over Brown — a still-sturdy eight-year NFL veteran runner — in a blocking drill. So the Browns, who have the fourth pick in April and need a running back, at least know Richardson packs a wallop.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Free Agency Asante Samuel Bounty Gate Drew Brees New Orleans Saints Philadelphia Eagles Sean Payton The Saints