Kevin James will be hitting the gridiron very soon. On Tuesday, Netflix announced the 56-year-old actor and comedian would star in a new football film Home Team, loosely inspired by New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton's experience of being suspended from the NFL. Home Team will also star Taylor Lautner, Tait Blum, Rob Schneider, Jackie Sandler, Gary Valentine, Maxwell Simkins, Jacob Perez, Bryant Tardy, Manny Magnus, Liam Kyle, Christopher Farrar, Merek Mastrov, Isaiah Mustafa, Christopher Titone, Ashley D. Kelley, Lavell Crawford, Allen Covert, Anthony L. Fernandez and Jared Sandler, according to Variety.
Home Team will be directed by Chuck and Dan Kinnane and produced by Adam Sandler's Happy Madison and James' Hey Eddie Productions. The movie will focus on Payton's experience during his year-long suspension from the NFL and coaching his son's amateur youth football team during that time. The movie is currently in production and no release date has been announced.
Kevin James, welcome to the HOME TEAM.
Loosely inspired by NFL head coach Sean Payton’s experience during his year-long suspension from the league, the new Netflix family comedy comes from Happy Madison & Hey Eddie Productions and directors Charles Kinnane & Daniel Kinnane. 🏈 pic.twitter.com/Mi6UY0Qefd— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) May 18, 2021
Payton was suspended from the NFL in March 2012 and missed the entire 2012 season. This decision was made after Payton was accused of trying to cover up a system of extra cash payouts given to his players for targeting opposing players. Along with Payton being suspended, the NFL also banned defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, fined the team $500,000 and took away their second-round draft pick in 2013.
"We recognize our fans' concerns and we regret the uncertainty this episode has created for them. We are humbled by the support our organization has received from our fans today in the wake of this announcement, and we ask them to continue to stand with us, as they have done in the past, when both our team and our city have overcome greater adversities," the Saints said in a statement responding to the penalties.
"To our fans, the NFL and the rest of our league, we offer our sincere apology and take full responsibility for these serious violations. It has always been the goal of the New Orleans Saints to create a model franchise and to impact our league in a positive manner. There is no place for bounties in our league and we reiterate our pledge that this will never happen again." In 2012, the Saints finished the season 7-9. When Payton returned in 2013, the Saints went 11-5 and lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round of the playoffs.