Payton signs new Saints deal
New Orleans head coach Sean Payton has signed a five-year extension to his contract, the Saints have confirmed.
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Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season because of his role in the "bounty" scandal that rewarded players for injuring opponents between 2009 and 2011.
The Saints won the NFC South division with a 13-3 record last season, but they slumped to 7-9 in Payton's absence this term and missed out on the play-offs.
Payton will be eligible to return to the sidelines next season, and he has agreed a new deal which commits him to the Saints until 2017.
Saints owner Tom Benson said: "We have already begun preparations for the 2013 season and I look forward to getting Sean back in the building as soon as possible, as I know our fans do as well."
Payton was appointed head coach by New Orleans in 2006, and he has led them to three divisional titles as well as their memorable Super Bowl triumph in the 2009 season.