Saints statement on bounty investigation

The New Orleans Saints issued a statement late Wednesday after the NFL announced the penalties in the bounty investigation.

The penalties included the suspension of head coach Sean Payton for the 2012 season, general manager Mickey Loomis for eight games, assistant head coach Joe Vitt for six games, and the loss of a draft pick each in the 2012 and 2013 season to go along with a $500,000 fine to the organization.

Here is the text of the Saints’ statement, as released on NewOrleansSaints.com:

Today, Commissioner Goodell apprised us of the severe penalties facing our club, as proposed by the NFL.

We recognize our fans’ concerns and we regret the uncertainty this episode has created for them. We are humbled by the support our organization has received from our fans today in the wake of this announcement, and we ask them to continue to stand with us, as they have done in the past, when both our team and our city have overcome greater adversities.

To our fans, the NFL and the rest of our league, we offer our sincere apology and take full responsibility for these serious violations.

It has always been the goal of the New Orleans Saints to create a model franchise and to impact our league in a positive manner.

There is no place for bounties in our league and we reiterate our pledge that this will never happen again.

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