Brees, Fujita, union brass meet with NFL to discuss bounty program

CBSSports.com wire reports
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Former Saints teammates Scott Fujita and Drew Brees meet with NFL officials on Monday. (US Presswire)  
Former Saints teammates Scott Fujita and Drew Brees meet with NFL officials on Monday. (US Presswire)  

NEW YORK -- Saints quarterback Drew Brees, former New Orleans linebacker Scott Fujita and players union head DeMaurice Smith were at the NFL offices Monday discussing the team's bounty program.

Other issues also were being discussed with league executives, according to a person with knowledge of the meetings. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are not being made public.

The league would not comment on the meetings, which also included discussions of HGH testing.

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Also on hand was NFL Players Association President Domonique Foxworth, who was elected to that position last month.

Brees and Fujita, now with the Browns, are members of the NFLPA's executive committee. Fujita was with the Saints in 2009 when the pay-for-pain bounty pool grew as large as $50,000 and the team won the Super Bowl.

Browns coach Pat Shurmur said on a conference call with Cleveland media Monday that Fujita missed the team's first offseason training session because he was in New York.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to soon punish players for their roles in the program that got Saints coach Sean Payton suspended for 2012. Between 22 and 27 current and former Saints defenders were involved, according to the league investigation.

The NFL investigation found that Payton initially lied about the existence of a bounty program and instructed his defensive assistants to do the same.

The Saints have been fined $500,000 and stripped of two second-round draft picks. General manager Mickey Loomis is suspended for the first eight games of the upcoming season, while interim head coach Joe Vitt -- who took over that role Monday as Payton began his suspension through the Super Bowl -- will be barred for the first six regular-season games.

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who oversaw the bounty system in which opponents were targeted for hits that could sideline or injure them, is suspended indefinitely. He left New Orleans in January to become defensive coordinator in St. Louis.

Williams has apologized for his role in the bounty program.

The league's investigation found that Williams' bounty system offered off-the-books cash payments of $1,500 for "knockouts," in which an opposing player was knocked out of a game, or $1,000 for "cart-offs," in which an opponent needed help off the field.

Last summer, the NFL announced it would begin testing for human growth hormone, but the union had to approve the process. The players have yet to do so, citing uncertainty about the detection methods and appeals process.

The sides have been stalemated on HGH testing ever since.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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