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Saints asked Fujita to retire as a member of the team

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We caught wind earlier today of linebacker Scott Fujita’s intention to retire as a member of the Saints not long before the launch of Monday’s PFT Live.  So, at some point in the 20 minutes before the show started, I thumb-typed a series of questions for Fujita with one hand while shaving my face and adjusting my toupee with the other.

Fujita responded, from Peru, where he is helping former teammate Steve Gleason traverse the terrain.

Here’s the full, unedited question and answer session with Fujita, who signed his contract in Machu Picchu, Peru.

Q:  Why the Saints?

A:  I’ve been fortunate to play in this league for a long time for some great organizations. But my time spent in New Orleans was certainly the best four years of my career. When Mickey Loomis found out I was preparing to officially retire, he reached out as I was about to board a plane to Peru, to ask if I’d like to sign a contract with the team and officially retire as a Saint.  I was blown away by that.  And what better time to make something like this official than on the grounds of Machu Picchu with my friend & former teammate Steve Gleason?

Q:  Did you have any offers for 2013?

A:  When I got hurt this past season, it was pretty clear that it would likely be the end of my career.  But I didn’t want to rush into any decisions.  I wanted to catch my breath before making any public announcements.  But I think most people were pretty sure it was the end of the road for me as a player.  I’ve been pretty beat up the past few years, am clearly not the same player, and I’ve already had one neck surgery & am possibly facing another down the road, so we had to make health the priority.  It’s definitely time.

Q:  What’s next?

A:  My goal is to take it easy for a bit & spend a lot of time with my family.  It’s been a hectic couple of years, so it’ll be nice to slow things down.  But I don’t sit still very well.  I enjoy writing and am evaluating a few opportunities there, which would be nice because I could work primarily from home.

Q:  How do you want to be remembered as football player?

A:  More than anything else, I just want everyone to know how appreciative I am of every opportunity that’s been afforded to me. From being a walk-on at Berkeley and having the chance to compete for a scholarship, to my experiences in Kansas City, Dallas, New Orleans, and Cleveland, I’m just very grateful.

Q:  Where does the bounty scandal fit in your football legacy?

A:  I don’t spend too much time thinking about that anymore. For a while it was something we had to deal with almost every single day, and you almost felt like you would never be able to move past it.  But as I expected, over time most people realized how ridiculous the whole thing was, so I’m not overly concerned at this point about how it may affect my legacy, especially given how everything ultimately played out.

Q:  On a scale of 1 to 100 you leave football with health at what number?

A:  Probably about a 50 at this point, and hopefully that number climbs over time. I feel good about the fact that I’m able to walk away from this game on my own terms, pretty much in one piece.

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23 Responses to “Saints asked Fujita to retire as a member of the team”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 22, 2013 1:55 PM

    Saint Fujita withdrew from worldly concerns to a lonely mountain top to dispense wisdom to pilgrims. But no one came.

  2. daysend564 says: Apr 22, 2013 1:57 PM

    Q: Why the Saints?
    A: Loomis doesn’t want any more information leaked about the team’s illegal acts, so he is giving me a one day contract that makes me think they are loyal and love me.

  3. MichaelWrites says: Apr 22, 2013 2:02 PM

    According to Joe Theismann, “Saints asked Fajita to retire as a member of the team.”

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 22, 2013 2:17 PM

    Saint Scotty working on tablets to be delivered to the faithful.

  5. keylimelight says: Apr 22, 2013 2:35 PM

    Good Q and A.

    Scott was not only an able athlete, he evidently has his head screwed on straight and has a heart of gold.

    Thank you Scott.

  6. granadafan says: Apr 22, 2013 2:40 PM

    Fujita has had an amazing career, one we would all dream of considering where he came from as an adopted baby to a walk on at CAL and to the NFL, winning a Super Bowl. He was always a leader. Have a great retirement, Mr Fujita. I’m jealous as I’ve always wanted to visit Machu Pichu.

  7. showmethemtds says: Apr 22, 2013 2:40 PM

    SuperBowl Champ* !

  8. CKL says: Apr 22, 2013 2:48 PM

    I don’t always agree with the guy but I do respect him. I am sure he will be successful outside of football.

  9. greysolon says: Apr 22, 2013 2:50 PM

    “…at Berkeley.”

    That explains a lot.

  10. daysend564 says: Apr 22, 2013 3:09 PM

    granada fan: Couple late/illegal hits and you too could afford to go to Machu Pichu (if you play for the Stains)

  11. 49erstim says: Apr 22, 2013 3:16 PM

    I’m sorry that he goes out with such a tainted legacy. I had a lot of respect for Fujita at one time.

  12. chrisknowsdbr says: Apr 22, 2013 3:22 PM

    PERU!!!!!!!!!

  13. purpleguy says: Apr 22, 2013 3:45 PM

    Pretty cool that he’s helping Gleason.

  14. theclaim says: Apr 22, 2013 4:05 PM

    Fujita is a class act. Good luck with life moving forward.

  15. saints4life57 says: Apr 22, 2013 4:08 PM

    It is a shame he got caught up in all that mess with the Saints but as a player I wouldn’t say his career is going to be tainted! Just like the crap with New England and “SPYGATE” people are pretty quick to forget! As a team I know it will always be with the Saints but as a player IMO it will fizzle out to nothing! TY for helping us win a SB! I enjoyed watching you play the time you spent in The Big Easy! Enjoy the rest of your life sir!

  16. wiguy25 says: Apr 22, 2013 4:40 PM

    Bum

  17. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 22, 2013 5:15 PM

    Curious to know 50 on what basis, brain related or other?

  18. kosmokenny says: Apr 22, 2013 10:11 PM

    Good guy off the field, cheating scumbag on it.

  19. leightonbreard says: Apr 22, 2013 11:18 PM

    People that hate will never achieve what they try to accomplish because their to worried about others and their business! Haters get a life looks like Fujita is doing just fine go ahead big dog you are a class act despite the haters trying hard to hate on whodat nation GET A LIFE! WHODAT!

  20. ilovefoolsball says: Apr 23, 2013 1:08 AM

    Class act. Good guy off of the field and on it. I wish him nothing but the best.

  21. 450rmack says: Apr 23, 2013 12:03 PM

    I’m so glad he decided to retire a Saint. He’s a class act and seeing him there with Steve Gleason is just awesome.

  22. roltyd says: Apr 24, 2013 2:01 PM

    POSERS like gabbert and daysend spend their days trying to lower people to their sad, pitiful level.

    To the rest, WHODAT!!! Congrats Scott, don’t look back. BTW, thanks for supporting Gleason.

  23. musicman495 says: Apr 25, 2013 10:43 AM

    Read the transcript – the Saints did NOT ask Fujita to retire as a Saint, Loomis asked if Fujita would LIKE to retire as a Saint. The meaning and implications are completely different. Why would journalists delete a post that pointed out a misleading headline, rather than fixing the error?

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