Drew Brees laments “abuse of power” by league office

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Saints quarterback Drew Brees isn’t happy with the league office.  And he continues to talk about it.

Specifically, he remains concerned about the power that the Commissioner possesses.

“Just the fact that, these unilateral decisions can be made without any kind of oversight, just seems like there’s — and I’m not talking about the decisions that are made when a guy gets a DUI, or when a guy gets a weapons charge, or gets caught making bad decision in that regard,” Brees tells Sean Gregory of TIME.com.  “You know, it seems like there’s just this abuse of power in a lot of ways when it comes to things like certainly the bounty allegations and accusations.”

But here’s the thing.  Roger Goodell has the power that the players collectively have given him, via the process of collective bargaining.  And Brees, as a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee, was directly involved in the decision to sign off on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that preserves the Commissioner’s power.

The union erred, in our view, by agreeing to a new economic formula, sending players to training camp in 2011, and then haggling after the players were back to work over non-monetary issues, like the Commissioner’s power.  Instead, the NFLPA should have insisted on getting everything worked out before anything was worked out.  Once the players had returned to their teams and the lockout essentially ended, the players had no leverage.  So Goodell dug in on his power, and the players had no option but to shrug their shoulders and accept it.

Then there’s the fact that the Commissioner’s power isn’t nearly as unlimited as Brees and others would have us all believe.  For example, the restraints on Goodell’s authority resulted in the suspensions of the four players being vacated last month — and the new suspensions eventually could be vacated, too.

Of course, none of this means that the Commissioner properly has been exercising his considerable authority.

“Disappointed with the way that the replacement referee situation went down,” Brees said.  “Really a lack of accountability from the top down.  Also, I feel like, in large part, this bounty scandal, so to speak, is a big facade, and a way to cover up the shortcomings of the league, and the commissioner, with regards to player health and safety over the last three years.”

Plenty of people feel that way.  There’s a chance that more than a few owners share those views, and they’ll all be getting together next week in Chicago for the first time since the bounty scandal and the referee lockout blew up in the league’s face.

87 responses to “Drew Brees laments “abuse of power” by league office

  1. he is the best player on my fantasy team .. i wish he would not invite trouble .. if he gets punished by the league my season goes down the tank

  2. Get rid of Goodell, he’s an incompetent fool. The Commissioner should be invisible, like Tagliabue. Goodell’s name and face are in the news CONSTANTLY. Giving the Commissioner absolute power can work if the Commissioner is fair and has judgment. Goodell has neither, so it’s a disaster. A fool, like Goodell, with absolute power is very dangerous.

  3. Totally agree with Florio. Most people agree Da Commish has too much power on everything from fines to other discipline like this. But the point is, the players gave it to him. Brees is complaining about un-reviewable decisions and the concentration of power. And yet, Brees is a major part of the reason Goodell HAS that power.

  4. Automatic “thumbs-down” to anyone that relates ANY story to the future performance of their fantasy team.

    Who cares about your fantasy team? Nobody, that’s who.

  5. To Drew Brees and the rest of the New Orleans Saints organization, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”. The CBA has laid out discipline procedures. Now live with it.

  6. Between the Saints and the Packers whining and complaining about everything the league does, you would think Goodell will drop the hammer and start hitting these babies with more fines and suspensions and start taking more draft picks away. It’s out of control, definitely not good PR for the league.

  7. I used to like Drew Brees until I heard him speak. Drew, you guys took the money and decided not to worry about the rest. You made your own bed, so shut up and deal with it. You gave Goodell the power, so don’t complain that he’s abusing it. Hypocrite.

  8. Drew your 1-4 you need to stop being a union mouth peice and worry about winning a game or two.

    Your season is circling the bowl so shut up and find away to make the fans of NO think your as good as you think you are.

  9. Trying to think what has gotten on my nerves more, Brees continuously harping on this subject or Brett Favre’s past statements of retirements 🙂

  10. Shut up Drew Brees. You blame Goodell but its your selfish self and your teams decisions that makes you suck. You are the most selfish player in the league and I agree with previous posts, you gave him the power. You were afraid to lose game checks and you went with what you have. Shut up you moron.

  11. This is getting real old. The players acknowledge that the NFL is a “business” so what is so difficult to understand that Goodell is the CEO. Any other CEO of a business only needs to answer to his Board of Directors (the team owners). I can’t imagine talking to the CEO of my company the way Brees keeps shooting his mouth off about Goodell and I think it’s time Goodell let’s Brees know who’s boss. Bottom line Rubes…..the NFL is a business and Goodell is the CEO, if you saints* fans and players would understand that simple concept, you would quit whining.

  12. I like and respect Drew Brees as a QB, but I wish he would just shut up and stick to playing football. Nothing he says is going to change the bounty situation,whether it’s fair or not. I did not think it was fair for Payton and company to be at the Chargers game…talk about a “sham”. He got his money,he got his TD record,and his mentors got a one game pass on their suspensions at his request to Goodell. He should just be thankful for it and stop complaining.

  13. For years I felt sorry for Saints when they weren’t that good. Then I was happy for their success. I was never a true Saints fan but now because of Bree’s mouth I’m happy when they loose.

  14. I can only image what drew would be saying if another team was involved in bounty gate and Drew was a target to be taken out for $$$. The 2 biggest babies this season r brees and Rodgers, stop crying and start winning games.

  15. They are your EMPLOYERS. They should have the power to suspend/fire/fine their employees. Don’t like it? Find a different job or retire with your millions of dollars

  16. We get the point. Play football. You are placing too much energy on that jerk. Its out of your control, FOCUS on winning the games.

  17. Again with Brees? Just shut up and go away already. If you hate your boss that much just quit and go to work in the real world.

    But then again, that wouldn’t pay you all the millions you’re getting thanks to the man you hate so much now would it? Idiot.

  18. Don’t care what Brees says. I just don’t. Play football, and stop politicking. It doesn’t look good on you when you gripe about stuff you agreed to. I have lost alot of respect for this guy in the last couple years.

  19. I like the commish dropping the hammer. Can’t let the inmates run the asylum. He can be extreme and ticky tack fines are a bit much but overall I approve.

  20. So the guy who is making 20 million a year and hasn’t won a game yet is complaining about someone else’s performance? LOL

    Does this make any sense?

  21. I am so sick of Brees and his whining. i wish Goodell would abuse his power and suspend a few games Brees for conduct detrimental because of the way he talks about the league and the commissioner. At least then he would have something worth crying about. In fact if Goodell is so power hungry and has no problem abusing his power then you would think he would have suspended Brees by now. That is exactly what that type of person would do.

  22. Have to agree with most of the takes on this subject….I use to think Brees was a guy you root for because of limitations, etc, etc but now he has become so annoying that when he speaks I’m getting “scratching on the chalkboard” syndrome ……..so just shut up Brees otherwise why don’t you complain about all the DUI’s, and other arrest that your fellow players commit?

  23. Brees certainly didn’t have a problem with league office authority when he got permission to have all his suspended bosses at the stadium to watch him break the TD-pass game streak record. Imagine how much more complaining he’d do if they told him “They’re SUSPENDED, Drew – NO, they can’t come watch at the stadium.”

  24. Is is my imagination or is Brees becoming Tim Tebow? He seems to be upset when the world doesn’t revolve around him and his losing team.

  25. What would the commish have to gain by suspending and fining innocent guys? This whole thing has been a black eye on the NFL.

    Brees and Vilma’s comments defy logic.

    They should hire Lance Armstrong as their spokesman

  26. thejuddstir says: Oct 13, 2012 10:51 AM

    This is getting real old. The players acknowledge that the NFL is a “business” so what is so difficult to understand that Goodell is the CEO. Any other CEO of a business only needs to answer to his Board of Directors (the team owners). I can’t imagine talking to the CEO of my company the way Brees keeps shooting his mouth off about Goodell and I think it’s time Goodell let’s Brees know who’s boss. Bottom line Rubes…..the NFL is a business and Goodell is the CEO, if you saints* fans and players would understand that simple concept, you would quit whining.

    Let me take this one step further: one of those members of the BOD happens to be the owner of the Saints himself (Benson). We haven’t heard him say anything about the player suspensions at all. He knows they’re guilty, otherwise he would have fought for Vilma and Smith to get their suspensions reduced.

    BTW, just throwing this out there: why hasn’t anyone else in the NFLPA Executive Committee (other than Brees and Fujita) come out and say something about this?

  27. I’m seeing a lot of parallels between Sean Payton and Drew Brees and Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens. When they both got busted for steriods Andy Pettitte admitted it, said it was wrong, and when he came back no one really held it against him. Meanwhile Clemens just lied, lied, lied about it despite overwheming evidence to the contrary and just ending up getting himself in big trouble, making everyone hate him, and probably ruining his chances of making the hall of fame.

    Same thing with Payton and Brees. Sean Payton admitted it and said he would accept the punishment. Meanwhile Brees continues to deny, deny, deny despite the fact that no one with half a brain other than a kool-aid chugging bandwaggon Saints fan could ever believe him.

    Like with Clemens and Lance Armstrong with Brees I look down far more on the fact that he continues to lie about it than the actual offense that happened. It’s supremely arrogant and insults the intellegence of every NFL fan.

  28. Patriots123456–

    Saints won last week. Drew is leading the league in completions, yards and TDs. Pay more attention.

  29. Drew Brees made his bed when he defended the tactics of Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove, and their coaches. It bothers me that most of them don’t know when to keep their mouths shut; it will only come back to bite them harder the following year when Payton returns to the fold.

  30. He is the same guy that gave the unilateral decision to accept your request to have your cheating coach at the Superdome for your record breaking touchdown pass. Give me a break already Drew…..the more you talk about the bounty issue the more respect I lose for you.

  31. By the way, Drew doesn’t care what loser fans from non SB winning teams have to say…lmao….loser alert above…

  32. Embarrassed by most of the above comments, 99% probably coming from fans of teams that Brees has been misusing for years now.

    I commend Brees for standing up for his team, his community, and what he believes in. That’s what a real man does, and it’s clear to me that most of you don’t understand what that means.

  33. Stop complaining about Goodell. YOU gave him this power!!! Thus breaking the all important 11th commandment….

    Thou shalt not be stupid

  34. Most companies or organizations have a decision maker. The NFL does also. It would be terrible if every decision came down to a league ownership vote(and yes…the owners own the league) because of self servicing voting. So the owners (who own the league) decided to have 1 person in charge who they elect.

    Brees and everyone needs to live with it. You are not a part of that process. Just like the McDonalds employee does not influence Corporate decisions but you are affected by them.

    The league has owners, they choose the rules.

    I, as fan accept that. I have no choice. Players, when they sign a contract accept that. Stop trying to be owners, you are players.

  35. I am really starting to wonder who on earth is advising Drew Brees… who else could be that stupid that they think this is a good idea to keep uttering the nonsense that falls from his lips?

    Or is Brees now just believing his own headlines and truly does not care what the rest of the world thinks of him.

  36. bartpkelly said it right. You summed it up perfectly. They think because they are in the public eye and make millions they can do whatever they want. If this was any normal company, Brees would have been fired a long time ago. The players think if they deny it long enough people will believe them. Most criminals claim being innocent no matter the proof that they are not. SO Brees, do everyone a favor and shut up, Nobody out side of NO cares what you think

  37. Quite correct. Roger Goodell does not have unlimited power. But try telling that to Roger. His decision making is not very good, he abuses his power, and rather than looking after the good of the game he earns his salary looking after the financial interests of the owners. His appointment as Commissioner was a mistake.

  38. I believe the position of Commissioner has always had the “In the best interest of the game.” power. This one just seems to use it more. I don’t believe they’ll agree to a CBA without it. And it just doesn’t mean that much to the players because it affects less than 5% of the union membership, if that.

    And remember, the Commissioner was simply doing the owner’s bidding when it came to the refs; it wasn’t his agenda but theirs. And according to some prominent lawyers, the league should ultimately win on both the bounty case and Vilma’s defimation suite.

    The bottom line is this Commissioner is making unprecedented money for the owners…he isn’t going anywhere…and neither is his power.

  39. The “best” QBs in the league right last year have the worst mouths and attitudes. Rodgers and Brees could have a whiny bromance match made in heaven.

  40. It’s the players fault for ceding him the power in the first place. It’s a bit late to cry about it now.

  41. Drew Brees has gone from one of the most likeable players in the nfl to by and far the most annoying. Drew, your constant whining isn’t helping anything at all. Just shut up already

  42. Drew Brees is the same whiny, insecure, spoiled brat he was when he played for San Diego and got happily replaced by Phillip Rivers who is a much better quarterback than Brees will ever dream of. My middle school boy could quarterback that Super Bowl team Brees had. Now all the perfect pieces are not in place for him and he’s cracking under pressure just like he did for the chargers. Sellout…

  43. I, as well as many others laments “abuse of opening mouth” by Drew Brees. It would be poetic justice if RG would exercise some more power (that the players gave to him) and suspend DB for a few games for “conduct detrimental to the league”. Of course there is always the possibility that someone will put some hot sauce on his jaw and that will shut him up for a while. One can only hope.

  44. Some of these comments have to just be saints haters. Do people honestly still believe what the saints did in the “bounty” scandal caused the players to have a different mentality than any other defense in the league? News flash: in 09, the Vikings tried to knock Brees out of the game as bad as the saints tried to knock farve out. And last year the niners tried to knock saints players out just as much as the saints tried to knock niners out. Only difference being niners were successful. It is part of defensive strategy to do this with Legal hits in every game. Sheesh, some people need to wake up.

  45. Drew Brees needs to shut up and get on with his job.
    To keep arguing with the Commiss is so childish.
    He’s in charge so get with the programme. Your team mates obviously did something wrong. By the time they stop fighting, it will be the end of the season anyway. Just squander more money on attorneys. Good job you all get paid so much you, can afford it.
    No one other than Saints fans cares about this, it’s boring.

  46. Drew should be thankful that his boys were not caught earlier.
    If they had been, they probably wouldn’t have been able to give him the support he needed to break Unitas’ TD record.

  47. Brees, being one of the most marketed and respected atheletes, is just using his credibility to place pressure on the commissioner and his power. This bounty situation has not been a clear-cut or a caught in the act incident and Brees is trying to better his team to contest these accusations. Ironically, the reason he is able to continue talking about this is because so many people like (or liked) him in the first place.

  48. Some good comments here. Brees is one of the best players in the game, but he’s also arguably the worst leader in the game at present day. He’s setting a bad example for others and that’s really the true shame and abuse of power. Give the man more millions and respect if you will people. But for what I ask you and at what cost?

  49. Drew Brees, you shouldn’t have signed it if you don’t like results. The only team that has the right to say anything about Goodell’s abuse of power is the Steelers. Being the only team not to sign.

  50. The commissioner is abusing his power but the players can’t complain because they agreed to it??

    Baloney.

    I voted for Bush yet that doesn’t mean I didn’t complain when he screwed up. And he did on occasion.

    Of course the players can complain and they should. The evidence is very clear that Goodell was wrong on the bounty punishments and he needs to reverse that pronto. Call an amnesty, get everyone un-suspended and un-banned and let’s move on.

  51. Roger is the best thing to happen to the NFL, and the players are too stupid to get that. He has built the value of the game so that idiots like Vilma and Bree’s can play a game and make millions doing it. Otherwise, they would be sweeping floors at Walmart. Left to their own devices, Maurice Smith and the players will kill the “golden goose” that pays their salaries. Wise up Drew, we are all tired of your pontificating.

  52. The stat worshipper is nothing more than a pro football player. If it were not for the platform that playing in the NFL provides, few people would have ever even heard of him. I am not sure he realizes that he isn’t really all that relevant. And I watched Johnny U play, Brees is not even close.

  53. Drew Brees is a man of integrity who speaks the truth. Goodell has indeed made a big deal about nothing, to turn your attention away from the man who was trying to get 18 more games, that would injure more players. He manipulated public outrage against the Saints, but his original accusations have proven to be not true (a sham). You may be tired of this whole mess, but it’s on Goodell, not Drew Brees and the Saints. Any team would be relentlessly fighting these ridiculous accusations if they were the one selected to punish as an example to others. There’s no way Sean Payton did anything to justify the harshest punishment in the history of the NFL. That’s the bottom line!

  54. the players gave Goodell the power…

    the owners want him to use that power to clean up player behavior….

    he’s doing it…..

    where’s the problem?

  55. Sean Peyton is a good coach but he is a cheat and a liar. If you paid someone to hurt someone else outside of the NFL that is a felony. He should be permanently banned from the league. He got off lucky. Football is an aggressive sport which players do hurt other players and unfortunately sometimes intentionally everyone knows that. But to promote and pay players to hurt others is criminal. He’s a sham…

  56. Brees is a HYPOCRITE!!!!.. The commish had the suspensions temporarily banned bc of the fine print in the legal process that wouldnt allow them to be upheld. So he re-wrote his position and re-banned them. This happens allllllllllllll the time. Doesnt mean he doesnt have proof or pure hatred or power. Just means hes following the freakin law!
    Brees is constantly complaining about something. Wasnt it less than week ago this same commish you claim abuses his power let ur suspended friends come watch you break that record? That didnt benefit him at all then next chance you get ur back b*tching like a little girl.

    *For the people who think he is “Standing up for his community and being a man” Your insane! How is opposing punishment, complaining on yours and every other teams issues and playing this “Victim” card at all admirable? How about REALLY standing up for your community and say we wont accept cheating and intentionally going after other players? He should be using this to fuel the idea that when you break laws or rules punishments are the result, dont contest them just becuase you dont like them. Taking the time is the “RIGHT” thing to do and the right way to represent yourself to your team, your community, and kids!!

    For Brees to claim that RG is out to get him, yet every decision the commish makes you here Brees and his 2cents. Whether it relates to the Saints or not! Bro ur the one out to get someone. You sound like you have the vendetta! Ur constantly questioning ur superiors decisions just because.

    Play better and quit dwelling on the past thats out of ur control, ur starting to remind me of the reasons I grew to despise Farve

  57. They had their chance and were more worried about money. Mot to mention there is not much dispute that there was a bountygate.

  58. just shut up, Brees! you and the other Saints are wasting your energies when you know that you’re really angry at yourselves for getting caught doing things that you shouldn’t have been doing. respect the game. respect your fellow players. when it comes down to it, you play to win. but you also play with honor.

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