NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) — Despite reports during the 2020 NFL season that the New Orleans Saints would forfeit a draft pick for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols, the franchise will not lose a selection.
When asked about the Saints and Las Vegas Raiders (another team fined for COVID violations) NFL senior spokesperson Brian McCarthy tells NBC/Pro Football Talk, “they (Saints and Raiders) are not forfeiting them.” McCarthy added, “neither team will lose those picks.”
The Saints were fined $250,000 and head coach Sean Payton was fined $100,000 for failing to properly wear face coverings during games early in the 2020 season.
The NFL also fined the Saints $500,000 when the team had a maskless celebration following a week 9 win in Tampa.
The NFL Network reported in February the Saints were also facing punishment for a third time stemming from a COVID violation involving running back Alvin Kamara.
The report says the league has obtained video evidence showing running back Alvin Kamara inside the team facility interacting with a person not employed by the franchise.
The person Kamara interacted with turned out to be positive for the coronavirus. Kamara tested positive in December and missed the Saints week 17 regular-season finale.
According to the NBC/PFT report, the league did not explain why the teams will keep the picks, but it appears the Saints and Raiders appealed the discipline involving draft picks and won.