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A new deal between Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints is in the hand of those two parties, not the National Football League, Roger Goodell, the league's commissioner, said in an interview on ESPN's 'Mike and Mike' Thursday morning.

Earlier this month, in addition to dealing with the on-going Saints bounty saga, fans learned that head coach Sean Payton, who is surviving a season-long suspension, had his contract voided by the league and rumors began to swirl that Payton could be wooed away to a team like the Dallas Cowboys.

The contract extension would have kept Payton in New Orleans until 2015.

Goodell said in the 'Mike and Mike' interview that the league rejected an 'element' of the contract, though he didn't specify and the contract wasn't approved.

The Saints and Payton can renegotiate a new deal while Payton is serving his suspension, said Goodell. When or if the Saints and Payton reach a deal, Goodell said the contract must be resubmitted to the league for approval.

When asked about the on-going bounty investigation and when it might end, Goodell deferred to Paul Tagliabue, the NFL former commissioner who is handling the appeals, saying Tagliabue controls the timeline.

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