No less an NFL icon than Brett Favre has found himself in the grips of Vicodin addicition, and who amongst us hasn’t at one time or another stolen a half dozen or so of the precious pain killers from an unsuspecting acquaintance’s medicine cabinet? With that in mind, it’s still a mild surprise to learn defending Super Bowl champ Sean Payton’s name and that of LB coach Joe VItt are were both named in a lawsuit filed Friday by the New Orleans’ former security director, both men accused of participating in the cover up of Vicodin theft in the Saints’ locker room. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Mike Triplett :

The lawsuit claims Payton was distributed a large number of Vicodin pills despite having no medical condition, while Vitt is accused of stealing the painkiller from the team’s drug cabinet.

Geoff Santini, a former FBI special agent who resigned from the Saints last August, iis claiming in the lawsuit that he was forced to quit because he wouldn’t cooperate with General Manager Mickey Loomis’ orders to cover up the theft of the pills.

Although Payton is not accused of being involved with the theft, he released a statement Saturday stressing that he has never stolen or abused Vicodin or any type of pain medication.

“I have reviewed Geoff Santini’s lawsuit and the unwarranted publicity it has received, ” Payton said. “I have never abused or stolen Vicodin or any other medication and I fully support the Saints’ position in this matter as expressed by (team spokesman) Greg Bensel yesterday.”

The Saints have denied the allegations made in the 12-page lawsuit that was filed in Jefferson Parish, characterizing it as an extortion attempt by a disgruntled former employee.