Payton was suspended for a year for his role in the Saints’ "bountygate" scandal, although the players allegedly involved had their suspensions lifted.
Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated Payton after meeting with him Monday. The coach "pledged to uphold the highest standards of the NFL and ensure that his staff and players do so as well," the league said Tuesday in a news release.
"We had a very productive discussion," Goodell said in a written statement. "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."
The announcement means that Payton is free to attend the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., this week and resume his coaching duties.