For his role in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita has been handed a three-game suspension from the National Football League.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King, Fujita, a known philanthropist and well-respected veteran, said that while he contributed money for teammate performance and “big plays,” it was never in attempt to injure the opposition.
Fujita’s former teammate Johnathan Vilma has been suspended for the entire 2012 NFL season. Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith were suspended for eight games and four games, respectively. Usama Young, another former member of the New Orleans Saints, was not punished for his association.
Through two injury-plagued seasons with the Browns, Fujita, 33, has amassed 101 total tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. Having one of the worst run-stopping defenses in the NFL while employing a relatively older linebacking corps, the Browns used multiple 2012 NFL Draft selections on linebackers, James-Michael Johnson out of Nevada and Texas’ Emmanuel Acho.
Though suspended without pay for three games (costing him $644,118), Fujita can participate in offseason and preseason activities, including games, with the Cleveland Browns. The player is expected to appeal.
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