Drew Brees looks like fool for not acknowledging bounties

Drew Brees' conflict of interest is undermining player safety issues. (AP photo)

Drew Brees' conflict of interest is undermining player safety issues. (AP photo)

Drew Brees has been one of the faces of the NFL, one of the best ambassadors the league has had. He is a premier player at the centerpiece position (quarterback) who led his team to a Super Bowl and also helped heal a city (New Orleans) after a disaster.

But the guy has lost it, and he should be removed from any executive board position he holds with the NFL Players Association. In short, Brees still refuses to acknowledge the New Orleans Saints had any bounty system, even though former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (who orchestrated the whole thing) admits it existed.

“We didn’t get any meaningful evidence, or any meaningful truth or facts,” Brees told NFL.com when asked about any discussion on the bounty program at Monday’s meeting between the league and union. (The league has yet to announce penalties for players involved.)

There are two problems here: 1) That Brees, probably out of loyalty to his team, still hasn’t publicly admitted that the Saints had a program. It makes him look foolish; 2) Because of that loyalty, and an obvious conflict of interest, he should not be allowed to sit in any meeting as an NFLPA executive board member when penalties for Saints’ players are being discussed.

In fact, a case could be made he should be removed from the board altogether. Think about it: One significant reason for the uproar of the program is it undermines player safety. There is evidence of Saints players being told to head-hunt or take out a opposing player’s ACL. But Brees, a union representative, refuses to acknowledge that, despite evidence and confirmation from a figure involved, effectively giving his blessing to the program.

How does Brees rationalize that to his union brethren?

Let’s briefly go through a few reasons why commissioner Roger Goodell has disciplined the Saints organization, Williams, coach Sean Payton and assistant Joe Vitt:

– Via the NFL’s findings, the Saints operated the bounty program for three seasons, largely funded by players but “also occasionally” by Williams.

– Payments were made when opposing players were injured. Specifically, the investigation showed bounties had been placed on four opposing quarterbacks: Brett Favre, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers and Kurt Warner. Defensive captain Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to any teammate who knocked Favre out of the NFC title game in the 2009 season.

– Via the official NFL release: “Coach Williams acknowledged that he designed and implemented the program with the assistance of certain defensive players.”

–  Also via the NFL: “Vitt admitted that, when interviewed in 2010, he ‘fabricated the truth’ to NFL investigators and denied that any pay-for-performance or bounty program existed.”

But Drew Brees wants evidence. He doesn’t look like a leader. He looks like a fool.

By Jeff Schultz

258 comments Add your comment

Funny Bunny

April 17th, 2012
8:29 am

That is sad. What is worse is players being referred to as fearless, and B. Belue saying that Heywood’s hit warmed his soul. Go Figure.

Bob Barker

April 17th, 2012
8:38 am

How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties. Schultz is da man!


April 17th, 2012
8:39 am

Brees is a good guy. He (or any other player rep) should be automatically disqualified from sitting on any hearing concerning his own team. It’s just an obvious conflict of interest and it puts him in a very bad spot. Either way he looks bad to someone.


April 17th, 2012
8:41 am

Good read Jeff…Unfortunately, as more and more of this comes out, I get only more sick. I hate the Saints as a whole, but like certain individuals, Brees included. That a team would go this far is just absurd.
Jeff, is there a process by which the NFLPA can remove a player? A vote or something?

Mark in ATL

April 17th, 2012
8:52 am

Drew is a punk….it happened….now move on…obviously Williams knows he was busted because he didn’t even appeal his suspension from the league. Payton thought he was above the rules and the commish slapped him down.


April 17th, 2012
8:55 am

It looks like DB “CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH’!!!!


April 17th, 2012
8:55 am

Who Dat Said that Brees is a “Good Guy? If he is sincere in his statements here, he is lacking intelligence (we know he is a very smart guy). If not, then he is blatently dishonest which makes him not a “good guy” in my book.


April 17th, 2012
8:59 am

That’s the new way of this country. Obfuscate, deny, turn a blind eye and demand proof without any possible hint of a shadow of a doubt. If that impossible standard is not met, then one can continue to believe what they want to believe in the first place. See it all the time in politics.


April 17th, 2012
8:59 am

if only the Falcons had a bounty program. maybe they would have played better on defense.


April 17th, 2012
9:02 am

Brees is probably afraid the Saints will put a bounty on him if he talks


April 17th, 2012
9:03 am

“We didn’t get any meaningful evidence, or any meaningful truth or facts,”
Sounds like lawyer-speak. Next time he should use the old Clinton line (under oath), “it depends upon what the meaning of is is.”

Listen, Brees, when a DC in the NFL doesn’t even appeal a indefinite suspension, most of us know what is “meaningful.”


April 17th, 2012
9:04 am

Hmm, Vilma went to the U. Didn’t they once get in trouble years ago for such a system? 3 years ago on MNF, ray-ray knocks Rashard Mendenhall out for the season, that night Suggs mentions a bounty to the media, all brushed under the rug. I really think this is happening much more than we know, and the NFL is covering up as much as they can. And Williams came up with this program suddenly after coaching all over the NFL? C’mon man!!!!

[...] Harper, Smith, Vilma coud face severe punishment in bounty programSunHerald.comUSA TODAY -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -New York Timesall 597 news [...]

Jack Dennis TN

April 17th, 2012
9:06 am

Enter your comments here

Jack Dennis TN

April 17th, 2012
9:06 am

Off on this one, Jeff.


April 17th, 2012
9:06 am

Well said, LakeDawg. I wholeheartedly agree with your synopsis.

Falcon James

April 17th, 2012
9:09 am

Bree’s in a tough spot. They be clearly a conflict of interested. I think he should call Petrino and ask how he should handle the situation. Petrino, first, will tell him to lie and deny. Second, Petrino will tell him to call his boss and apologize for the lie and denying. Then Petrino will tell him he should resign. The last advice will be best the one.


April 17th, 2012
9:13 am

Hey PONGO – you’re wrongo.

Williams did the same thing in Buffalo and elsewhere. Just got caught in N.O.


April 17th, 2012
9:14 am

Brees knows more about the bounty system than he lets on. After bounty gate came out , and the way Brees has denied it. Makes me think less of him. Williams was man enough to admit to what they done.
It all started with Payton, he should be band for life as well.
When Brees was trying to break passing record BVG should had a bounty on Brees for passing on Falcons . If I was falcon coach , I would had Spoon or Moore take him out.


April 17th, 2012
9:17 am

That team had an incredible swagger, And DB was a big part of it. That organization will never be the same. This coach will be warned and watched when he comes back, and will be told he will be banned from the league if they have a repeat. The team won’t be the same.


April 17th, 2012
9:19 am

I see one quote from Brees that Schultz could be completely taking out of context. The media has been known to do that from time to time ya know.

Just throwing that out there. Carry on.


April 17th, 2012
9:22 am

People say oh he’s a great guy. I think he’s a dirty rotten bass turd and I am not surprised at all he qb’d the team that did these acts. Ever since his days at purdue, I thought he was a lousy person


April 17th, 2012
9:24 am

And all I know is roddy white should be glad he lives in atlanta and not ny. Cause we all saw what happened to rocker when he said some things about gays. Roddy gets a pass by the media here though.


April 17th, 2012
9:26 am

can’t say i am surprised. i mean he’s a jock. 95% of them would be living on o buma’s welfare nation if they weren’t athletic.

marquis willingham

April 17th, 2012
9:31 am

Brees is classless. I’ve been saying it from the time he ran up the score to break the record against us. I hope he is removed from every leadership position, and fined as well. And, as a former New Orleans resident (for work), I can say that place is a 3rd world city. Joke of a city, joke of a fan base, and infrastructure that makes the Dominican Republic look like the Vatican.


April 17th, 2012
9:31 am

The far left has done their job with making any comment about Gays a career killer, but as a Christian, I tell people it’s not biblical thus it’s wrong. If you say that publicly , in a school, office, Government building etc, it’s almost an arrestable offense.


April 17th, 2012
9:33 am

Pro athletes not to good with money. The latest is Warren Sapp. Made 60 mil and netted 38 mil during his career and is BROKE. He should of bought a brain with his first check.


April 17th, 2012
9:36 am

I’ll acknowledge at this point that the filmmaker looks like a self important jerk, especially given his behavior and the timing of his release.

That said, what is Drew Brees smoking? The league has been on this for 3 years, the team has lied about it for 3 years. They only came clean after the league presented the evidence in thier presence. The league asked them nicely and without punishment to stop this for 3 freaking years. It is not in the NFL’s best interest to have one of it’s best coaches not coaching for a year. New Orleans is an extremely popular team. It’s unfortunate that such a smart guy like Drew Brees is still trying to cover up years worth of coverups and lies.


April 17th, 2012
9:37 am

No one is out to get New Orleans. The league is protecting it’s brand.


April 17th, 2012
9:44 am

Drew is riding down that river in Egypt…..D-NILE!!!!


April 17th, 2012
9:46 am

Drew Brees = Enemy along with all the daym saints….Hopefully they miss the playoffs this year!

Echo E

April 17th, 2012
9:47 am

The issue here is Brees wants to get paid.

Currently he’s holding out of off season workouts because he doesn’t want to be franchised and wants a long term deal. If he blabs about the bounty program (rather than lying about it right now) the Saints are less likely to pay him until next off season (presumably because his stats will drop off this year and they can get him at a cheaper price).

He desperately wants his contract this year, so he’s keeping his mouth shut. He’s a crybaby and a terrible sportsman but he’s not stupid.

D man

April 17th, 2012
9:54 am

I like an incentive bonus program for good play. Extra pay for legal sacks, knock down passes, legal tackles for losses, interceptions, etc…


April 17th, 2012
9:58 am

Uh Doug……If I remember right, Rocker also was living/playing in Atlanta when he made his infamous comments…….the NY media has nothing to do with this…..Whats your point??????

Jim Osterman

April 17th, 2012
9:59 am

As usual the players close ranks and ignore the wrong done by their peers. Brees should have kept his mouth shut.

Who datter

April 17th, 2012
10:02 am

Drew is asking for evidence not saying it didnt exist what he is saying is that just because a coach spoke of such things it doesnt mean thae players acted upon them. Most of you only wish ill on the SAINTS because they drag the falcons every chance they get. Football is so popular because of the violence. The coach spoke really wreckless, yes but when have the SAINTS ever gotten anyone carted off? ever?

Cody P

April 17th, 2012
10:09 am

All y’all crazy NFL defensive players get paid million of dollars a year to go out and hit as hard and as much as they can. Drew Brees might be a part of the team but he’s in that position for a reason. Everyone just mad because NEW ORLEANS is on the map and we go out there and BUSS HEADS on Sunday’s, get over it people Drew Brees is the top dog and he’s lookin out for his team!!!

Hillbilly D

April 17th, 2012
10:12 am

My Grandpa used to tell me to never miss a chance to keep my mouth shut. That’d be good advice for Drew about now, I think.


April 17th, 2012
10:13 am

Haha….Cody is either funny or he’s funny.
Is he pretending to be an ignorant Saints fan or is he an ignorant Sains fan? Either way he gave me a chuckle.


April 17th, 2012
10:19 am

heads up saints fans. only 364 more days till you have a head coach again.


April 17th, 2012
10:26 am

Totally agree. I used to think Brees was a class act and upstanding guy (maybe), but two questionable things stand in the way. Great article, btw. How can the leader of the team not know. Hmmm, everyone that has been punished has confirmed the existence so this makes Brees look very stupid. Two, the running up of scores for records totally validates this classless organization. I always stated, especially in their “Super Bowl” year that the Saints were playing dirty. Brees, be a true leader, admit to mistakes, and move on. If they refuse to own up, I hope the Commish slams them harder.


April 17th, 2012
10:27 am

Well said! And I think you’re taking it easy on him here. Somebody in the media needs to call him out, I mean the audacity of this guy is unbelievable. Why has nobody put his feet to the fire!?!

Big Crimson 75

April 17th, 2012
10:31 am

Drew Brees is a paper QB — always has been.
Just ask UGA.
The Bounties won the SB b/c of their Coach – then D then – Brees.

splendid splinter

April 17th, 2012
10:40 am

Marquis Willingham got it right – Brees showed his class when he ran up the score on the Falcons. And I agree with Echo. There had to be some motivation for these comments. It usually can be tied to money. Brees is after the big paycheck. While I can’t blame him for that, one does have to get up and look at oneself in the mirror every morning. I guess Brees doesn’t look too closely.

V Chip

April 17th, 2012
10:41 am

Shultz, you’re better than that (marginally, but still…).

Brees is referring to a pay-for-injury system. The NFLPA has received no proof of such a system. There is proof for a pay-for-performance system, but not pay-for-injury which is being reported. There might actually BE proof, but the NFLPA has not received it.

The fool is the journalist who cannot comprehend the simplest sentences.

Motocross Survivor

April 17th, 2012
11:06 am

Baylen’s daddy is being bad! I’m still stuck on little Baylen though.

Samuel L. Jackson

April 17th, 2012
11:14 am

Big Crimson 75,

A paper QB? C’MOOOOOON MAN!!! Think what you want of the Saints and Brees on a personal level or about their “character” as you perceive it, but saying Brees is a paper QB is a joke. He isn’t playing with Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, or Jerry Rice on his squad. He has lead the NFL in passing yards since 06 playing largely with journeymen talent/undrafted FA’s @ WR. Even Colston (the Saints most consistent receiver) was a 7th round pick. The only stellar athletic talent on the Saints receiving squad is Jimmy Graham and last year was his first year seeing significant playing time. I would argue that no one has done MORE as a QB with less talent


April 17th, 2012
11:20 am

So quick to pile on aren’t y’all.
I don’t think Brees knew anything. I say this because anytime you saw him pre-game he was next to Payton talking about plays. Post game he was watching tape. Do you really think he had time to be involved with what the defense was doing? Brees is as good as he is because he submerses himself in HIS job not worrying about the other players are doing….that is the coaches job! As far as asking for proof….he is talking as the spokesman for the NFLPA. Why is he doing that? Cause he is on it and all the media wants to talk to him of course!
Yes there is a conflict of interest. I fully agree and that is why people like Jeff Schultz can make a statement like this. If they interviewed someone not on the Saints from the NFLPA and they said, they are looking for proof of what happened and who was involved. Then people would ask about the proof not the player making the statement. If the NFL has proof of which players were involved and how much they were involved then it will come out.
Until then stop whining about guys making side bets about a game where the ultimate goal of the defense is to get the ball away from the other team by pretty much any means necessary. If the guy gets hurt they stop the game SOME of the players feel bad, but as soon as the hurt man is off the field they go right back at it as hard as they did before if not harder to get revenge or make up for the guy they lost.
If you can’t understand bounties I guess you never made a side bet on anything…..

Phlegm Lattimore

April 17th, 2012
11:27 am

Brees’ behavior was learned from a US President. It is now rampant and accepted behavior. Our society is poorer for it.


April 17th, 2012
11:36 am

yes because the NFL never lies….please. show me someone getting injured..and a note from a doctor.