- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees continues to make the media rounds and get hit with questions about the Saints’ bounty program and his contract situation.
In this radio interview, on the bounty program, Brees continued to emphasize he had no prior knowledge of its existence. That’s significant because Brees is a member of the executive committee of the NFL Players Association and that makes him a guardian for player safety.
"Well, obviously the whole bounty situation is disappointing for all of us, just because for me, I really had no idea what was going on,'' Brees said. "It seems there's an investigation that's ongoing now for a while and the facts are still being gathered. And, to be honest, a lot of us found ourselves searching for answers and facts here the past few weeks. But it's an extremely unfortunate situation. I think a lot of us are just waiting to see what the investigation turns up and then the decisions that will need to be made by the commissioner and others, just so we can move past this.''
Brees also sounded like he was talking from a union point of view when asked if he thought the Saints were being singled out for something that's been going on around the league for years.
"I think there's a difference in what people might view as a bounty or incentivizing players to do certain things,'' Brees said. "What I think has been in the league forever is incentivizing guys to go out and make great plays, whether it's a special teams guy that you're trying to help take care of or whatever. I think on the flip side of that are teams incentivizing guys to intentionally go out and hurt somebody. That's a serious problem if that is the case. So that's what's being looked into here and that's what needs to be fixed if that is the case.''
That's pretty significant. While Brees isn't saying the Saints were intentionally trying to hurt opponents, he's acknowledging that's what the league is saying.
As far as currently carrying the franchise tag, Brees sounded slightly more upbeat than he was in some other recent interviews.
"Well, that's not what I was hoping for,'' Brees said. "Obviously, I'm working towards a long-term deal and will continue to work towards a long-term deal. I'm still confident that, hopefully, sooner rather than later, we can get a long-term deal worked out.''