Payton had to know, it's totally illogical to think he didn't with the way he runs his team. And there was enough anecdotal evidence. And even if there wasn't, not suspending him puts the coach in a position of plausible deniability to avoid punishment for these type of things, which the league cannot allow.
I don't think Sean Payton shouldn't be punished but I feel the entire season is too damn harsh. I mean the Saints might as well just line-up and let Brees throw it 50-60 times a game this year because it's basically going to be a lost season. We saw how important Payton is to the team after he tore his ACL or whatever and wasn't on the sideline for a couple of games.
LOL @ so many Saints fans (I have a few friends who are) who are pouting that the NFL is and has been always out to get them and talking about conspiracy theories. Gimme a break. If that was true, then they wouldn't have won a Super Bowl as they got the benefit of the doubt in several calls vs Minnesota.
And lol @ people who are complaining about it. Yes, a year long suspension is very steep. But the NFL flat-out told the Saints to stop doing it, and the Saints kept on doing it and lied to the NFL several times. When you're warned about it but keep doing it and lying about it, the punishment has to be severe.
We deserve a punishment and we repeatedly broke the rules. But Jesus at least have fair punishment. The fact that Belichek didnt even miss a game and Payton is going to miss a year is what I have an issue with. Be consistent.