A person with direct knowledge of the discipline tells The Associated Press that the NFL fined the New Orleans Saints $500,000 and took away a seventh-round draft pick in 2021 for violating league COVID-19 protocols. And the New England Patriots were fined $350,000 for similar violations. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither the league nor the teams have announced the discipline. New Orleans was fined as a repeat offender. Sean Payton previously was docked $150,000 and the team $250,000 because the coach failed to properly wear a face covering during a Week 2 game against the Raiders. More recently, after a Week 9 win over Tampa Bay, the Saints’ celebrations included players not wearing masks while in close proximity to one another.