Saints Owner Backing Payton, Loomis

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A New Orleans Saints official familiar with club owner Tom Benson's reaction to the NFL's bounty investigation says general manager Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton still have Benson's full support.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the investigation was still ongoing.

An NFL report says between 22 and 27 defensive players on the Saints, as well as a former assistant coach, maintained a bounty program for inflicting injuries on targeted opposing players during the past three seasons.

"The bond between Sean and Mickey and Mr. Benson could not be stronger," the team official said.

The official says Benson is "110 percent behind his guys," and wants them focused on improving the club for the upcoming season.