Sean Payton apologized Friday for the bounty system under which Saints players were offered payouts for big hits on opponents, saying he takes “full responsibility” for the program that operated for three years under his watch. “I share and fully support the league’s concerns and goals on player safety,” the New Orleans coach said in a written statement released by the team. “It is, and should be paramount. Respecting our great game and the NFL shield is extremely important to me,” Payton added, referring to the league’s famous logo. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday suspended Payton (pictured right) for the 2012 season, effective April 1, one of several unprecedented penalties he issued against the Saints.
– Associated Press