Scott Fujita signed a one-day contract with the New Orleans Saints so he could retire as a member of the organization, the team announced today.
Fujita, who will turn 34 Sunday, spent the past three seasons playing linebacker for the Browns after signing with Cleveland as an unrestricted free agent in 2010. He suffered a neck injury last year that forced him to sit out the majority of the season and foreshadowed his retirement.
Fujita signed his one-day deal with the Saints while overlooking Machu Picchu, Peru, in the Andes Mountains alongside former teammate Steve Gleason, who suffers from ALS and is raising awareness about the disease with Fujita’s help.
“I’ve been fortunate to play in this league for a long time and for some great organizations, but there is no doubt that my times spent in New Orleans were some of the best years of my life,” Fujita said in a statement released by the Saints. “The way the team and the community embraced us when we first arrived, and the way they continue to do so, even today, shows how deep this connection is. I’m honored to be a part of this organization and so proud to retire as a New Orleans Saint.”
Fujita started 22 of the 23 games in which he appeared for the Browns and compiled 116 tackles, including 4½ sacks. He was a member of the Saints when they won the Super Bowl to end the 2009 season.
The NFL implicated Fujita in the Saints' bounty scandal last year and suspended him three games, but he fought the accusations every step of the way and was completely exonerated in the end. Fujita, a member of the NFL Players Association's executive committee, is known as an outspoken player safety advocate.