Mickey Loomis, New Orleans general manager, returns to work after suspension | NFL
Mickey Loomis, general manager of the New Orleans Saints and a former Seahawks executive, has returned to work after a suspension — and the Saints need his crisis-management skills to be sharp.
METAIRIE, La. — Mickey Loomis, general manager of the New Orleans Saints, has returned to work — and the franchise needs his crisis-management skills to be sharp.
The organization continues to be rife with unsettled issues, some of which have made its fan base uneasy.
So there was no time for former Seahawks executive Loomis to ease back into a routine Tuesday after serving his eight-game suspension in connection with the league's bounty probe of the Saints.
Loomis' immediate tasks include clearing up the status of Sean Payton's contract extension through 2015, which league commissioner Roger Goodell has so far declined to approve because the coach signed it in 2011.
Recent revelations Payton is not officially under contract beyond this season have pushed anxiety-ridden Saints fans closer to panic. New Orleans (3-5) has struggled while Payton has served his seasonlong bounty suspension and that, in the minds of many observers, has strengthened the fiery and innovative coach's value.
Loomis told The Times-Picayune of New Orleans: "I absolutely expect Sean to be our coach next year and going forward. These contract issues will be resolved."
Loomis needs a contingency plan in the event defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma have to serve their bounty suspensions, which so far have been delayed by legal maneuvering.
Interim Saints coach Joe Vitt, a former Seahawks assistant coach, said he did not have much time to chat with Loomis when they met Tuesday morning, but Vitt said people throughout the organization were comforted by knowledge the GM was back for the last half of the season.
"Listen, Mickey and Sean are the leaders of this building. It's not only great for Mickey to be back for our players and our coaching staff, but every person in our building," Vitt said. "Slowly but surely, we're starting to get people back."
Vitt also sounded skeptical of the concept Payton might leave.
"Our football team loves Sean Payton. Sean Payton loves this football team," Vitt said. "Sean Payton loves this city. And this city loves Sean Payton. That goes a long way."
• The Arizona Cardinals have lost starting outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield for the season because of an injured left ankle that requires surgery.
Schofield was injured in Sunday's 31-17 loss at Green Bay. Quintin Groves replaced Schofield in the game and is expected to do the same when the team, which has a bye week, resumes play Nov. 21 in Atlanta.
• The Oakland Raiders have added linebacker Aaron Curry, an ex-Seahawk, to their active roster. Curry, who resumed practice Oct. 17 after missing time because of knee injuries, was taken off the physically unable to perform list.
• Retired receiver David Boston, 34, pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and faces up to 35 months in prison at a Dec. 7 hearing in Florida. Authorities say Boston had been drinking at a Boca Raton home last November when he punched a woman twice in the head, leaving a wound requiring 10 stitches.