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Scott Fujita says he paid teammates, but not for causing injuries

Scott Fujita

Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita (99) intercepts a pass against the St. Louis Rams in the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

AP

Browns linebacker Scott Fujita has admitted that during his time with the Saints he participated in what Gregg Williams called the “pay for performance program.” But Fujita says his payments were limited to giving money to teammates who made good, clean plays, and that he never paid bounties for injuries.

“Over the years I’ve paid out a lot of money for big plays like interceptions, sacks and special teams tackles inside the 20,” Fujita told Peter King of Sports Illustrated. “But I’ve never made a payment for intentionally injuring another player.”

Fujita, who played under Williams in New Orleans in 2009, has been particularly outspoken about the need to make player safety a priority. He is on the NFL Players Association’s executive board and has pushed for reducing full-contact practices and increasing care for retired players who suffer long-term health consequences from injuries suffered on the field.

Given that, it’s surprising to hear Fujita’s name connected with the Saints bounty case. But not surprising to hear Fujita say that his involvement was strictly limited to fair play.