Throughout the Saints bounty program process, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has been an outspoken critic of the way the NFL has handled the investigation and the suspensions given to the team's coaches, former coaches, players and former players.
Now that former commissioner Paul Tagliabue has overturned the suspensions, Brees basically got to say, “I told you so" on Wednesday.
“This has been a nine-month ordeal,” Brees said (check out the video at NFL.com). “I'm so happy for our players. ... I think that this was some serious vindication. … Thank God for the fight and the resolve all those guys have for justice.”
The problem, Brees said, is that the NFL had a pre-determined view of how it wanted the Bountygate scenario to play out.
“The NFL, through this whole process, including commissioner Goodell, has been all about an outcome as opposed to a fair process,” Brees said. “That's what we fought for. Finally, we got that. What I'd like to see is a level of accountability on the part of the NFL and commissioner Goodell in regards to the mishandling of this entire situation.
"We as players are held to a strict code of conduct both on and off the field, and we have to be held accountable to that, as it should be. And I think they should be held to the same standard.”
Though he said he didn't want to sound conspiratorial, Brees also said he believed the NFL had to figure out a way to save face while overturning the suspensions.
“Right now, the league office and commissioner Goodell have very little to no credibility with us as players and some of the fans,” he said.
And as for former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who testified that he wanted to stop the bounties but was overruled by Joe Vitt, and former Saints employee/whistleblower Mike Cerullo?
Drew Brees slams Gregg Williams and Mike Cerullo, calling both of them "disgruntled" former employees and questions their mental state.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) December 12, 2012