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Sean Payton doesn’t believe NFL will investigate James Harrison’s claims

Jimmy Garoppolo against the Patriots. A rematch between the Saints and Vikings. Mike Florio and Chris Simms highlight the top revenge games on the 2020 NFL schedule.

Yes, Saints coach Sean Payton has questions about whether the league will explore former Steelers linebacker James Harrison’s claim that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin gave Harrison “an envelope” after Harrison was fined $75,000 for an illegal hit in 2010. No, Payton doesn’t expect to get any answers.

“If people are waiting for the league to investigate that, they shouldn’t hold their breath,” Payton told Jason La Canfora of 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore, via Luke Johnson of the New Orleans Advocate. “I think what took place with us back in [2012] in so many ways was a sham, and yet there wasn’t a lot we could do with it. The players were vindicated, but from a . . . coaching standpoint, there is no union. There is no representation.”

So does Payton expect the league to do anything at all about Harrison’s candid remarks, which are far more credible on the surface than the sour grapes from someone with an axe to grind against Tomlin?

“I would be shocked,” Payton said. “That’ll be something that’s tucked away under the rug at Park Avenue. They’ll look into it briefly. Listen, don’t get me started on that. I lost $6 million in salary, and honestly it was something that I’ll never truly get over because I know how it was handled and how it was run and the reasons behind it. That’s just the truth.”

Payton could be tempting fate by complaining publicly about the way the NFL handled the bounty scandal. But if the NFL smacks Payton for raising concerns about a double standard without investigating Harrison’s contention, that will make the league’s failure to look into the Harrison situation more glaring.