Holy shit.

Payton said it was a pre-existing condition that was caught by a team doctor:

An aortic aneurysm is an enlargement of the aorta, the main blood vessel that delivers blood to the body. Investor Jeff is a cardiologist, so I asked him to weigh in here– these are his comments, obviously without knowing specifics:

First depends where it is. If urgent surgery it’s probably in the “proximal” part of the aorta nearest the heart.

Also we index it to body surface area so a guy the size of an NFL player will probably have a bigger aorta than a normal person.

They key is how large it is. Once you get to 5-5.5 cm the risk of it tearing and killing you is much higher and surgery is needed.

If it’s in the 4-5 range but the person is having symptoms like chest pain that’s usually a surgical indication too.

Is it serious?

Yes very serious. Worst thing you can do is lift heavy weights a la in an NFL training room OR play contact sports.

How likely is it that his NFL career is over due to this?

I’d guess 100%.

At his press conference today, Doug Pederson said he knew nothing about it and just found out about it today.

The Saints say it was caught during a physical, which may raise some football-related questions. Also, you could wonder whether the physical would have even been performed if he wasn’t traded. We wish Jon the best.