We don't know if the audio clip of former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams that leaked last week was the final nail in the coffin or not. But, the NFL just denied the suspension appeals of New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, Saints GM Mickey Loomis, and Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt. All three were appealing the suspensions they received from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last month for their roles in "Bountygate."

For Payton, that's especially bad news because he got the worst suspension of all and will have to sit out the entire 2011-12 NFL season, while Loomis will be suspended for eight games and Vitt for six. Payton's suspension begins on April 16 and he won't be able to take part in any official Saints business for one year.

There's still been no word on who will serve as the interim head coach in his absence. But now that his suspension is official, expect an announcement soon.

[via FOX Sports]

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