Arthur Blank, owner of NFC South rival Atlanta, praised Goodell's strong punishment.
"I think he dealt with it appropriately," Blank told ESPN.com. "I think it will be one of the most significant decisions he'll ever make as the commissioner. I think he'll be the commissioner for the next 30 years and I think people will look back and say he sent a message to the teams, the players, the coaches, everybody in the NFL and sent a message to the fans that, 'This is not what we're going to have in this league.' "
Payton said he didn't want the scandal to "taint or tarnish" his team's recent success.
"We'll get through this," he said. "This will be a challenge. ... You know, we've gone through a lot of adversity and we've won a lot of games in really a short window of time. And I know our players are leaders both within the locker room and the coaching staff will look at this as a challenge and a little bit as an opportunity."
AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner in Palm Beach and AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this story.
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