Initially, Brees pleaded ignorance, claiming that he had no knowledge that the system ever was present during his New Orleans tenure. Brees has now had some time to think his comments over, and has decided that there is "no meaningful evidence" to support a claim that bounties were ever a thing.
Brees does not believe the NFL found anything worth trumpeting about during the two years they investigated the Saints, and instead believes that the 18,000 documents—complete with emails—the NFL obtained were nothing more than chain messages and spam.
Consequentially, Brees is also denying that Gregg Williams (the architect behind the issue that has people crying about the end of sanctity in a sport that would have ignored this whole ordeal if not for the slew of lawsuits from ex-players and the faux-maternal image the NFL now has to maintain) ever admitted to the whole "pay-for-play" extravaganza, which he did.
In a March 2nd statement in what the NFL will easily use to justify their "claims" of a bounty, Williams said, "I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, (Saints owner) Mr. (Tom) Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the pay for performance program while I was with the Saints."
So, yeah. That's as damning as anything to Brees' belief that the NFL has no evidence. It's sort of admirable that Brees is so adamant in his statements, which portray the Saints organization as too innocent and sweet to ever indulge in such horrible corruption.
He's going up against what the NFL has deemed to be law, and is potentially ruining his current identity as one of the entities the NFL brand finds fit to promote. He cares about his team and coach and city, and appears to be ready to do everything to ensure that the image of the Saints as a 21st century "America's Team" is maintained.
Then again, it's really sad that Brees is unable to identify what is so obviously blatant to everyone else.
Brees' current state of being is part Joe Posnanski refusing to believe the Penn State sex scandal was anything more than a "single, hazy event," part conspiracy theorist who doesn't believe the United States really killed Osama bin Laden and part eternally stuck in the first stage of grieving.
Brees is downplaying the severity of the bounty, accusing the NFL of making up claims and denying that anything resembling a "bounty" ever existed. The second part of that sentence particularly interests me, mainly because I wonder how the NFL feels about one of their marquee products claiming that the NFL is lying.
Brees, in his belief that bounties never existed and everyone is lying, is slowly turning into one of those people you see on documentaries claiming the world leaders are secretly lizard people.
Brees will continue banging his pots and pans about an unpopular, erroneous theory, kind of like a Westboro Baptist Church member who has replaced unrelenting homophobia with an unrelenting desire to save face.
He went from pretending his ears were boxed in the locker room, to pretending the NFL is a horrible organization for ever implying the Saints would partake in such a thing. He wants his friends (i.e. Sean Payton) back, and he wants the aura the media-infused "magic" that surrounded the Saints' Super Bowl run.
He's not going to get it, due to evidence Brees refuses to believe exists. It's a shame, because Brees seems like a nice guy, albeit one who maybe doesn't have the extraordinary sense of morals that he once oozed.