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Scott Fujita signs one-day contract at Machu Picchu


The New Orleans Saints announced Monday that 11-year veteran linebacker Scott Fujita signed a one-day contract with the team and announced his retirement from professional football.

Fujita signed the contract in Machu Picchu, Peru, where he joined former Saints teammate and ALS battler Steve Gleason in an adventure of the Inca site.

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"What better place to reach the end of the road than here at 10,000 feet above sea level," Fujita said, "in the Peruvian Andes overlooking Machu Picchu with my dear friend Steve Gleason?"

Although Fujita played in New Orleans for just four of his 11 NFL seasons, he became a cornerstone of the franchise as the first player acquisition made by the Saints when coach Sean Payton was hired in 2006. Fujita was a key contributor on the Saints' only Super Bowl winning team back in 2010.

Fujita left the Saints to sign a three-year, $14 million contract with the Browns, but had little impact in Cleveland due to knee, hand and neck injuries.

Although Fujita was among the players suspended in the Saints' alleged bounty scandal, he was fully exonerated by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Among the most conscientious and well-spoken players of his era, Fujita should be appreciated for his willingness to walk away from football to help raise awareness for Gleason's plight. The road less traveled often provides its own reward.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.