Lewis: Sean Payton’s return is good news for the Saints, but it doesn’t come without questions _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- Saints coach Sean Payton answers a question during his hour-long news conference Wednesday in Metairie. Next season will be Payton's 11th with the team.

From a team standpoint, Sean Paytonhas repeatedly said he believes the New Orleans Saints have moved past the Bountygate scandal that forced him out of the NFL for a year in 2012.

Personally, though, there are some things that are tough to get over.

Payton, who appeared on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday morning, admitted it’s hard to forget the financial implications of the suspension, the first for an NFL coach in NFL history.

“I don’t think you do,” Payton said.

When Payton was suspended, he’d just signed a contract extension worth roughly $6 million per year, a deal that was voided. New Orleans signed him to a new extension after his suspension worth more than $8 million per season.

No matter how much he’s made since then, though, a season of lost salary can be hard to forget.

“From a time standpoint, I think you get past being away, but it’s close to — shoot, I can’t recall at the time — close to $6 million,” Payton said. “That’s unique, to say the least, in our sport or any sport.”