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Sean Payton turns free couch offer into goodwill gesture

Wild Card Round - Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 07: Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints reacts before the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 7, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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Who would have thought the Vikings and Saints could end up as BFFs after a game that ended like last week’s did?

It began when a Vikings fan suggested on social media that Minnesotans donate to Thomas Morstead’s “What You Give Will Grow” charity to show appreciation for the Saints punter playing through torn rib cartilage and for returning from the locker room to line up as a defensive tackle on the final two-point conversion kneel-down by the Vikings.

Morstead promised to personally deliver a check to Minnesota’s Child Life Program if the donations surpassed $100,000. Donations have topped $200,000.

On Friday, Saints coach Sean Payton responded to a Minnesota furniture company’s offer of a free couch to watch Sunday’s NFC Championship Game from home. Payton tweeted he wanted the couch . . . to donate to Children’s Minnesota and added a $25,000 donation to Morstead’s charity.

Payton ended his Twitter post with #skol #recovering and “Feeling better already.” He added he is rooting for his longtime friend Mike Zimmer.