"Coach Payton acknowledged in the meeting his responsibility for the actions of his coaching staff and players and pledged to uphold the highest standards of the NFL and ensure that his staff and players do so as well," said Goodell in a statement released by the NFL.
The reinstatement is effective immediately, meaning Payton is now free to rejoin the team.
"I am thankful today Commissioner Goodell has granted me reinstatement. As I stated back in March, I, along with Mickey Loomis, take full responsibility for all aspects of our football program," said Payton in a statement released by the team.
"I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violation. Furthermore, I have assured the Commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed."
Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season, Loomis was suspended for 8 games, and assistant coach Joe Vitt was suspended for 6. Also, four players faced suspensions from Goodell, but their suspensions were overturned by Paul Tagliabue in December.
'"We had a very productive discussion," said Goodell, in the NFL release. "Sean fully complied with all the requirements imposed on him during his suspension. More important, it is clear that Sean understands and accepts his responsibilities as a head coach and the vital role that coaches play in promoting player safety and setting an example for how the game should be played at all levels."
Payton is now free to attend any post-season college all-star games, including the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, this week.
"I feel we have learned from our mistakes and are ready to move forward," Payton said in the release. "I want to thank our owner, Mr. Benson and all of our great fans for the overwhelming support throughout this past year.
"I am excited to be back as Head Coach of the New Orleans Saints!
Saints Owner Tom Benson issued a statement about Payton's reinstatement. "We are all thankful that Sean Payton has been reinstated. We have a lot of work to do and we are in the middle of it right now."
"He is our head coach and we welcome him back. We look forward to a great 2013 season and making another run at a World Championship for our fans!"