Well, I didn't eat at the Saints' cafeteria Friday. I figured it's probably not such a good idea to eat a team's food when half the organization (and that might be conservative) wants me to fall off a cliff because of my reporting on the bounty affair. But I sat with Brees while he ate, and it looked lovely -- a couple of grilled vegetable wraps and three bottles of water to stave off the inevitable summer dehydration at the Saints' afternoon practice.
I spent an hour or so with Drew Brees while he lunched in the Saints cafeteria, and he made it clear that the players, and the organization, believe strongly that they have been wronged by the NFL in the Saints bounty probe. Paraphrasing Brees (and you can read the bulk of his comment in my Monday Morning Quarterback column this week), Brees differentiates between the pay-for-performance bonus system, which many teams had in place the last few years, and the bounty system, which the NFL claims the Saints were guilty of fostering over the past three seasons. And he thinks, as do many in the Saints locker room and front office, that the league overstepped its bounds in suspending Saints players, coaches and GM Mickey Loomis a total of 77 games. Brees made his point very clear: The Saints will remember what they feel is an injustice, and it will come in handy when motivation is needed in 2012.