Linebacker Scott Fujita, a fan favorite of the Who Dat Nation, has re-signed with the Black and Gold. But, it’s just for a day, so that he can officially retire as a Saint.
The Saints announced today that Fujita has signed a one-day contract with the team and will announce his retirement from professional football.
In a news release from the Saints, Fujita says his time in New Orleans “were some of the best years of my life.”
“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 said.
Fujita, 33, signed his contract provided to him by the Saints in Machu Picchu, located in the Andes Mountains in the Urubamba Valley in Peru, South America. He is accompanying former New Orleans Saints teammate Steve Gleason on an adventure of the fabled Inca tribe in the South American mountains.
Gleason is leading a valiant battle against ALS and raising awareness while continuing to forge forward on memorable experiences despite physical limitations. (Click HERE to view photos and accounts of the trip from Team Gleason's Facebook page.)
“What better place to reach the end of the road than here at 10,000 feet above sea level, in the Peruvian Andes overlooking Machu Picchu with my dear friend Steve Gleason?”
Fujita, an 11-year veteran of play in the National Football League, was
The Saints signed Fujita in 2006 as an unrestricted free agent, going on to play for the Saints through the 2009 season. Fujita was instrumental in helping guide the team to victory in Super Bowl XLIV.
Saints GM Mickey Loomis says he’s very happy Fujita is retiring as a Saint.
“He was the first player acquisition that we made in 2006 once Sean Payton came on board,” Loomis said. “It was an important acquisition for us, getting a player of his caliber to come to New Orleans despite the conditions (post Hurricane Katrina) for a number of reasons because he saw an opportunity to become involved in the rebuilding of the city, yet quickly realized how important the team was to that effort.”
Coach Sean Payton says Fujita was, and continues to be, a major part of what the team has become in New Orleans.
“He was a cornerstone of the foundation that we’ve built and we won a World Championship together. It’s been said that when you win a championship together, you walk together for the rest of your lives and that’s certainly appropriate to celebrate on a day like today…His dedication to Steve Gleason illustrates what type of friend, teammate and person he is and how valued his friendship is to those of us that have spent time around him.”
Fujita signed with the Cleveland Browns in 2010 as an unrestricted free agency and played three seasons with the team before today’s announcement.
Photo courtesy New Orleans Saints, Scott Fujita, and Team Gleason
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