Published: Apr 17, 2012 1:14 AM EDT
Updated: Apr 17, 2012 6:31 AM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Saints have completed their first day of voluntary workouts without quarterback Drew Brees.

Brees was in New York on Monday to join players' union officials at NFL offices to discuss the Saints' bounty program, which has resulted in the suspension of head coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012 season. While Brees has not been connected to the bounty system, he's helping the union represent players who may be punished in the scandal.

Payton's suspension started the same day his players began showing up at the team's suburban New Orleans headquarters for conditioning and weight-lifting. Assistant head coach Joe Vitt is in charge until his six-game suspension starts.

It's not clear when Brees might join Saints teammates for workouts. He's seeking a long-term contract extension.