Scott Fujita's offseason has been the equivalent of a migraine headache that refuses to go away.
The Cleveland Browns linebacker -- who is facing a three-game ban for his role in the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" scandal -- got bad news Monday when an arbitrator ruled Commissioner Roger Goodell has the authority to suspend Fujita and three other Saints. His reputation took a hit last week when filmmaker Sean Pamphilon contended Fujita made the final call on Pamphilon releasing the infamous Greg Williams' âbountyâ audio. Fujita denies this.
Despite the drama, and despite Pamphilon's contention that Fujita considered retirement last season, Fujita said he's looking forward to being on the field with Browns teammates.
"While there have certainly been some unexpected challenges this offseason, which are beyond my control right now, I can't let that distract me from getting myself as prepared as possible to play this season," Fujita told The Plain Dealer in an email. "Obviously I'm a lot closer to the end of my career than I am to the beginning, so the time to win is now."
Fujita, who will be at Browns mandatory minicamp Tuesday through Thursday, is entering his 11th season. Despite a concussion last October and a broken hand that cost him the final five games of last season, Fujita, 33, still has enthusiasm for the game.
"I love my teammates (and) defensive coaches, I'm excited about our new additions, and I'm looking forward to seeing this team improve," he said. "I want to win, and I want to help this team win."
It makes sense why Fujita wants to be back on the field. After a hellish few months, the football field probably represents serenity to the guy. Imagine that.