By Tony Grossi
Extra points …
Fujita speaks: Browns linebacker Scott Fujita has reserved the right to appeal his three-game suspension and strongly denied involvement in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal.
Fujita was suspended three games for pledging “a significant amount of money” to the bounty pool in the 2009 playoffs while with the Saints, according to Commissioner Roger Goodell. The suspension would cost Fujita about $645,000.
Fujita sent the following statement to ESPNCleveland and other news organizations today:
“I disagree wholeheartedly with the discipline imposed. I’ve yet to hear the specifics of any allegation against me, nor have I seen any evidence that supports what the NFL alleges in its press release. I look forward to the opportunity to confront what evidence they claim to have in the appropriate forum. Until then, I stand by my previous comments.
“I have never contributed money to any so-called ‘bounty’ pool, and any statements to the contrary are false. To say I’m disappointed with the League would be a huge understatement.”
Fujita is a member of the NFLPA executive board and has advocated player safety in collective bargaining talks with league management.
His three-game suspension was the most lenient of those levied by Goodell. Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma received a one-year suspension, former Saints defensive end Anthony Hargrove received eight games and Saints defensive end Will Smith received four games.
The NFLPA filed grievances last week challenging Goodell’s jurisdiction to discipline the players in this case and to hear their appeals.
Richardson unplugged: Browns No. 1 draft pick Trent Richardson is one of 11 rookies profiled in the online Web series “Everything to Prove.” The series profiles Richardson’s background and takes a behind-the-scenes look as Richardson prepared for the draft. The series can be found at nfl.com/ETP. It resumes in August as Richardson embarks on his first training camp and then will revisit him during the season.
Tony Grossi covers the Browns for ESPN 850 WKNR, ESPN 1540 KNR2 and www.espncleveland.com.
He has covered the Browns with distinction since 1984 and is one of 44 voters for the National Football League Hall of Fame. Email your “Hey Tony” questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Tony on Twitter @tonygrossi
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