Yesterday, we brought you the news that Drew Brees and 37 other Saints were working out voluntarily to try and gain an edge for the 2011 season.
But there's an even more fascinating twist to the story: Brees is paying for the workouts. The former Super Bowl MVP is footing the bill for "most of the expenses," according to Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, including the Tulane staff to work the players out as well as lodging and insurance for some younger members of the team.
And he doesn't appear to concerned about the possibility that the bill for the workouts could approach "five figures" because of the lockout.
"Who knows," Brees said. "We'll see. But it's worth it."
Brees' leadership role is clearly having an effect on the players.
"When you have a leader like that on your team, it makes it easy for guys to rally around and understand what's available to us," right tackle Jon Stinchcomb said.
Stinchcomb's right -- as I said in the previous post about the Saints' workouts, it's pretty obvious that leadership is going to show itself with these offseason workouts through the way that various teams workout sans structure from the clubs.
"I feel like the more organized you can be as a team and the more that you can communicate during this time ... I think the better off we'll be once the season does come around," Brees said.
He's right. But how many guys will actually (and literally) put their money where their mouth is in a situation like this? Answer: probably not many.
This is why Brees is a respected leader in the league, a Super-Bowl champion, and the most vocal of the named plaintiffs in the current antitrust suit against the NFL.
In a time when players are supposed to be saving money and worrying about their future, and when many of them are being derided by fans for fighting over a large sum of money, the example Brees is setting is almost bafflingly impressive.
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