|Brees likely regrets his comments. (US Presswire)|
That quote, delivered to SI's Peter King, caused more than just a stir over the past few days. Brees, of course, was asked about his comments. In a teaser for an interview that will run Sunday before the Hall of Fame Game, Brees told Marshall Faulk of NFL Network that he "was just being honest."
"I was asked a direct question, 'How do players in the league feel about the commissioner?' And I've talked to many, many players and I think there's a general feeling that guys don't trust the commissioner. In the past I've always been able to talk directly with Commissioner Goodell. It just happens that the big topic or issue this offseason has been the bounty allegations. We feel like the process from the very beginning has not been fair."
At the end of the clip, which you can see here, Faulk asks Brees if he trusts the commissioner annnnnd ... fade to black. (The drama! But it's actually a good question.) Faulk and NFLN weren't the only curious folks though. Local reporters queried Brees about the statement following training camp on Wednesday.
"I'm not going to comment further on it," Brees said, per Albert Burford of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "If there's any dialogue that would need to take place, I would talk to the commissioner directly. By no means was that meant to be disrespectful. I was asked a direct question about how the players felt and I gave a very honest and direct answer. I think it was blown out of proportion a little bit when the headlines say I was blasting the commissioner. No, that wasn't the case. That was really all I said and I really have nothing else to say about it."
In a wide-ranging interview with CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, the commissioner was asked about Brees' remarks and, well, he seemed unfazed.
"I have no issues with Drew," Goodell told Freeman. "I have a great deal of respect for him. He's a terrific young man. Taking criticism is part of the job. There are 32 teams and 2,000 players. Not everyone is going to like you. But in the end what you have to do as commissioner is do what's best for the league. That's my job. Do what's best for football."
Despite Brees' claiming that he's done talking, he will have more to say about it when his interview airs on Sunday. The reality is that he and many players -- especially Saints -- probably don't trust Goodell. It's hard to blame them.
But it's hard to imagine that Brees thought that using the line "no one trust him" to describe Goodell while speaking with a pretty big-name reporter for a pretty big-name media outlet was going to go by unnoticed. This is a guy with a very carefully crafted brand who speaks honestly, but also carefully. When he uses those words, he has to know they'll be repurposed in the literal form.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.