Franchised New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees -- who has not been around the team this offseason and is not satisfied with how the Saints have approached his contract situation -- is not going anywhere in 2012 and showed on Monday night that he still supports his current and former teammates.
Following Monday's appeals hearing in New York, Brees echoed the comments made by suspended brethren and their attorneys that the evidence to justify the suspensions was thin. Brees addressed the situation on Twitter, making an ill-advised comparison of the evidence in the bounty program to the case the Bush administration made for the Iraq War.
"If NFL fans were told there were 'weapons of mass destruction' enough times, they'd believe it. But what happens when you don't find any????," Brees wrote on the social media site.
This appears to be a case where, no matter what amount of evidence is shown, some people will never feel the suspensions were justified. As a leader of that team, and a visible and vocal member of the NFL Players Association, Brees understandably falls into that category.
But the evidence the players were shown on Monday, which was also presented to a dozen NFL reporters, including NFL.com's Steve Wyche, clearly shows the existence of an illegal bounty program. The Saints' own computer system was a treasure trove of evidence, with slides stating "Now's the time to do our jobs, collect bounty $. No apologies. Let's go hunting" before the team's playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks in 2010.
Even if it's just on paper, and no money ever exchanged hands, the existence of a bounty program was enough to warrant some level of league action against the parties involved. You can make the case that the suspensions may have been too harsh, but it's hard to deny that evidence of a program exists.