Saints QB Drew Brees filed an affidavit Saturday in Louisiana District Court supporting LB Jonathan Vilma in Vilma’s defamation case against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
"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,” Brees stated, according to NFL.com. "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 received a one-year suspension for his alleged role in the Saints’ bounty program. Brees’ affidavit defended his teammate and explained what Vilma’s absence would do to the team and community.
Brees wrote that the absence "will have a significant impact on our team and within our community. As a professional football player, our platform to reach our communities is directly driven by the manner in which we compete on the field. Therefore, Jonathan's absence on the field will adversely affect his ability to impact the community in a positive way as a leader and role model."
Brees also maintained in the affidavit that he has “no knowledge of a pay-to-injury program existing, and have yet to personally see any evidence that would substantiate these alliegations.”
Vilma has filed for a temporary restraining order so that he can return to work. Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt and trainer Scottie Patton have also filed affidavits supporting Vilma.