Days after affidavits from Saints Interim Head Coach Joe Vitt and head athletic trainer Scottie Patton were filed supporting Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the suspended linebacker has received another ringing endorsement.
According to NFL.com, Drew Brees filed an affidavit reading, in part:
"Having been in the NFL for 11 years, I have come to the understanding that great teammates make teams great. I believe that my teammates with the New Orleans Saints, through leadership by individuals including Jonathan, have a good understanding of our responsibilities to our organization, team, teammates, the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana. In my four years as a teammate with Jonathan, I have not seen anyone conduct himself with a higher degree of professionalism, work ethic, responsibility, and genuine care for his teammates."
Vilma's lawsuit is set to be heard on Thursday, July 26, the same days the Saints hit the field for training camp.
Brees went on to state that he has no reason to believe the allegations that Vilma offered $10,000 leading up to the 2010 NFC Championship Game for any player who injured Brett Favre:
"My understanding is that Mr. Goodell has accused members of our defense, including Jonathan, of engaging in a pay-to-injury program that involved offering financial incentives to teammates to intentionally injure opposing players. I have no knowledge of a pay-to-injury program existing, and have yet to personally see any evidence that would substantiate these allegations. In my four years as a teammate with Jonathan, I have found that he is a man of integrity who passionately plays the game of football within the framework of the rules and has respect for his opponents."