New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees reiterated his denunciation of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s recent reaffirmation of the suspensions for players involved in the Saints bounty scandal on Thursday.
The record-setting quarterback told “NFL AM” that he believes the commissioner continues to misuse his power.
“This (bounty saga) could go on for a while because, certainly our players are not satisfied with some of the things that Commissioner Goodell has claimed or said,” Brees said. “It seems like so much of his suspensions have been based upon speculation and rhetoric and maybe the testimony of some pretty unreliable sources. So that’s the unfortunate thing — it seems like his decision changes quite a bit and at least the reasoning behind what his decision is. So that is the disappointing part of it for all of us.”
Former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita released a statement Wednesday condemning Goodell’s actions. Fujita, who’s now with the Cleveland Browns, accused Goodell of a “condescending tone” and called the commissioner’s actions “an absolute abuse” of power.
Brees said he concurred with all of Fujita’s comments.
“I agree with everything that Scott Fujita said in his statement. I thought it was a strong statement, certainly very true,” he said.
Brees said his team is trying to block out the bounty distractions and focusing on winning games. The undisputed leader of the Saints said losing head coach Sean Payton to a season-long suspension was difficult but the Saints won’t cite that as the reason for their lackluster start.
“We are never going to say that. We’re not going to make excuses for ourselves,” he said. “There are no excuses for our 1-4 start other than just lack of execution.”
Brees also touched on criticism from former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who thought it was inappropriate for Brees to request permission that suspended Payton could attend Sunday’s game.
“I haven’t heard his comments directly, but there’s no person who’s a bigger part of that record than Sean Payton, (general manager) Mickey Loomis, (assistant) Joe Vitt, all the coaches on suspension right now,” Brees said. “I felt it was very appropriate for them to be there because they are as big a part of that as anybody, and it really made for a special night, a historic night. I was really glad they could be a part of it.”