Monday, April 16, 2012
Fujita meets with NFL about bounty scandal
By Jamison Hensley
Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita was not in attendance for the start of his team's offseason workouts. He had a previous engagement with the NFL.
Fujita, a defensive leader for the Saints in 2009, is among the players and union leaders who are meeting with NFL officials on Monday about the bounty scandal. Browns coach Pat Shumur confirmed Fujita was in New York but couldn't provide any details about the meeting. Saints quarterback Drew Brees and players union head DeMaurice Smith were also at the league offices today.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell handed out severe punishments to the Saints for their involvement with bounties, suspending coach Sean Payton for the 2012 season and general manager Mickey Loomis for eight games. It will be more difficult to hand out such discipline to the players because the NFLPA is saying the league has not provided any detailed evidence that the bounty program existed.
Fujita recently said he paid teammates for big plays when he was a member of the Saints in 2009, but not for intentionally injuring players. A member of the NFLPA executive committee, Fujita has been an advocate for players' safety.
Shurmur said he intends to talk to his team about bounties.
"I think player safety is important and I understand the integrity of the game," he said Monday in a conference call about the start of the offseason workout program. "There are a couple of issues I think that have to guide us and I'll just leave it at that."