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Money talks again as Fujita leaves Saints for Browns

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; NEW ORLEANS – On Sunday, we were reminded once again that the NFL is a busine$$. In the case of 30-year-old linebacker Scott Fujita, the Cleveland Browns showed him the money, lots of it, and the defending Super Bowl champion ...

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Old 03-09-2010, 08:42 AM   #1
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NEW ORLEANS – On Sunday, we were reminded once again that the NFL is a busine$$.

In the case of 30-year-old linebacker Scott Fujita, the Cleveland Browns showed him the money, lots of it, and the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints did not.

Nothing more, nothing less.

There is no one to blame here. Saints officials did what they felt is best for their organization by exposing Fujita to free agency in an uncapped year, the Browns saw an opportunity to upgrade their roster, and Fujita did what most of us would have done given the same set of circumstances. He took the money (a three-year, $14 million contract that includes $8 million in guarantees) and will join the Browns for offseason workouts in the coming weeks after tying up loose ends in New Orleans.

Regardless what some in Who Dat Nation believe, Fujita would have been a fool to turn down that offer, and believe me, Scott Anthony Fujita is no fool. He did the right thing for him and his young family; his wife, Jaclyn, and their 2-year-old twin daughters Isabelle and Delilah.

Too, I believe Saints officials have more pressing money matters and overpaying a good player, not a great player, not a difference maker anyway, is no way to start free agency.

On Monday, Fujita fought back tears as he explained his reasoning for leaving an organization with an extremely bright future for one that is wallowing in mediocrity with a coach squarely on hot seat in Eric Mangini.

“To the people of New Orleans I don’t even know where to begin … (pause) … It’s best just to say ‘thank you’ and leave it at that … (pause) … This is hard, Brian … (pause, his voice cracked) … It’s hard not to be emotional … (pause) … Everything runs deeper here than it does in other places.

“Being a world champion is a dream come true. But Jackie and (I) know what we are doing, and it’s about having a shared vision, and if I didn’t believe and share that vision with those guys up there, I wouldn’t be going there.’’

I detected some hurt feelings during our 10-minute conversation, similar to a bruised ego felt by 34-year-old free safety Darren Sharper, who also is seeking richer, greener pastures via free agency.

“The Saints have to make real tough business decisions,’’ Fujita said. “And as tough as it is for me leaving, I know it wasn’t easy for them to let me leave at the same time. I have a great relationship with everybody in the organization, with (Saints GM) Mickey (Loomis), with (Coach) Sean (Payton). They left me great messages and I am looking forward to talking with them and thanking them for everything when I come in to say goodbye.

“It was a real unique, special relationship the last four years and I know those guys value the partnership that we had. But in moving forward, and in terms of the team making their plans for the future, if they were willing to let me explore free agency, then certainly they were willing to let me go and that’s just part of the business.

“I’m sure Darren feels the same way, too. On the one hand, he still wants to deal with the Saints but I think he also wants to find the best fit for him and he wants to be wanted. When it comes down to it, every player wanted to be wanted and wants to be used the right way.’’

From the moment Fujita and his wife stepped off the plane in Cleveland on Saturday afternoon until their departure 24 hours later, they were made to feel welcome by Browns’ officials, beginning with new club President Mike Holmgren. Surely, it was no different than the way Loomis, Payton and the Saints coaching staff made the Fujitas feel four years ago when they came to a city waylaid by Hurricane Katrina.

“I really feel good about the next stage of our lives now,’’ Fujita said. “Cleveland is the right fit. It’s sad leaving behind the relationships in New Orleans. But in terms of what we have going up in Cleveland and me being able to be a part of turning something around, I really embrace those situations, just like I did four years ago in New Orleans.

“And the same way people thought we were crazy four years ago, they probably think we are crazy right now. But, believe me, I evaluated things very critically.’’

No doubt, part of Who Dat Nation feels betrayed by Fujita and is struggling to understand how he could leave the City of Oz for a god forsaken NFL hamlet such as Cleveland. Folks, get a grip. Right or wrong, the Saints allowed him to test the market and he found a willing buyer.

So, where does this leave the Saints? Well, they have an opening at starting strongside linebacker, a position that is expected to be filled either from the current crop of prospects on their roster, free agency or the draft. Have they taken a step back as a team on defense with Fujita’s departure? Yes. He brought a lot to the table, on and off the field but it's not a huge retreat.

Make no mistake, Fujita will be missed. But life moves on.

I would hope all of Who Dat Nation will wish Scott Fujita and his family well in Cleveland, thank him for his many athletic and philanthropic contributions in New Orleans and don’t take his leaving personal.

Remember, the NFL is strictly busine$$.

Money talks again as Fujita leaves Saints for Browns

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Old 03-10-2010, 12:51 PM   #2
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Re: Money talks again as Fujita leaves Saints for Browns

i hope were not making a big mistake. he was'nt great like they say but he had game.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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Re: Money talks again as Fujita leaves Saints for Browns

I don't think anyone here is surprised by this article.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:07 PM   #4
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Re: Money talks again as Fujita leaves Saints for Browns

pretty much how everybody else felt
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:10 PM   #5
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Re: Money talks again as Fujita leaves Saints for Browns

He sure didn't go to Cleveland for a chance to win the Superbowl.

Or for the city.

Or for the food, or the weather, or the people...

Hey, at least he gets to watch LeBron.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:33 PM   #6
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Re: Money talks again as Fujita leaves Saints for Browns

Fujita must have seen this before he signed. Sorry bro, but you're not helping turn Cleveland around like you did New Orleans.



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Old 03-10-2010, 02:36 PM   #7
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Re: Money talks again as Fujita leaves Saints for Browns

Originally Posted by saintsfan1976 View Post
He sure didn't go to Cleveland for a chance to win the Superbowl.

Or for the city.

Or for the food, or the weather, or the people...

Hey, at least he gets to watch LeBron.
ouch...

the food is pretty good tho.....and i heard lebron is an ok basketball player
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:35 PM   #8
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Re: Money talks again as Fujita leaves Saints for Browns

Yep, this one is all about money and I cannot blame Fujita for taking it. 8 mil guaranteed is a big much to pass up for a guy like Fujita at this stage in his NFL career. I think initially the Saints will miss him big time, but I am confident the Saints will find a better replacement. As far as winning, I think Cleveland under Mike Holmgrem will figure it out quickly. Heck, he is already doing the right thing with his mediocre QB situation.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:22 PM   #9
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Re: Money talks again as Fujita leaves Saints for Browns

It is really troubling to see the Saints SB team, this same team of pretty much the the whole run under Payton, be dismantled.
It just so happens that many of the players are FA at this time. Many are players at 30 yrs. Many have been around the league for a while.

I disagree with the article that Who DatNation is shocked and stuff.

Common sense is that the palyers have to gowith the biggest pay day.
There is nothing wrong with that.
Best to Fujita and his lovely wife and family.

We are going to see many of this SB team leave (Bush, Sharper).
Best wishes to all of them.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:47 AM   #10
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Re: Money talks again as Fujita leaves Saints for Browns

Here is a list of the people that I think must stay in order for us to keep the nucleus in tact:

Drew...brains and accuracy...no brainer
Pierre..heart and power
Reggie...best moves in the league and star power (kinda guy that doesn't do anything but win and make people around him better, IMO)
Vilma..heart of the defense
Greer and Porter...they can cover man-to-man, gotta have at least 2 of those
Colston...legit #1 receiver
Meachem..legit #2 and a 1st rd pick, BIG play maker, made play that nobody will ever forget
Morstead and Hartley...Morstead might have been the biggest difference maker that put us over the top...and Hartley became "Iceman" just at the right time
All of the O-Line...nuf said
Shockey...yeah, I said it. He makes the team better when he's out there


There are others that I would be disappointed to see leave...like Sharper, Harper, Moore, Henderson, etc...but I understand it is a business.

Anyone got someone they think should be on the "keeper" list or someone you think doesn't belong?

Whether you think you can or think you can't...you're right!
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