Earlier this morning, the NFL announced they have reinstated Sean Payton as head coach of the New Orleans Saints.

Why now? Apparently NFL commissioner Roger Goodell met with Payton yesterday in New Orleans. The meeting was productive enough for Goodell to reinstate Payton 12 days earlier than than the original suspension called for.

Payton released the following statement on the matter:

"I am thankful today Commissioner Goodell has granted me reinstatement. As I stated back in March, I, along with Mickey Loomis, take full responsibility for all aspects of our football program."

"I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violations.

"Furthermore, I have assured the Commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed.

"Lastly, I feel we have learned from our mistakes and are ready to move forward. I want to thank our owner, Mr. Benson and all of our great fans for the overwhelming support throughout this past year.

"I am excited to be back as Head Coach of the New Orleans Saints!"

Speaking of Mr. Benson, Tom issued the following statement in regards to the NFL's decision:

"We are all thankful that Sean Payton has been reinstated. We have a lot of work to do and we are in the middle of it right now.

"He is our head coach and we welcome him back. We look forward to a great 2013 season and making another run at a World Championship for our fans!"

And lastly, Goodell issued a statement as well:

"We had a very productive discussion. Sean fully complied with all the requirements imposed on him during his suspension. More important, it is clear that Sean understands and accepts his responsibilities as a head coach and the vital role that coaches play in promoting player safety and setting an example for how the game should be played at all levels. We are committed to delivering football that fans love and the safety players deserve. Coach Payton agrees and I look forward to working with him going forward to do that.

"As a result, Coach Payton may attend the Senior Bowl this week and resume his duties as head coach of the Saints."