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Fujita Leaves New Orleans Saints for Browns


Gay ally and linebacker Scott Fujita parted ways with the New Orleans Saints to join the Cleveland Browns as a free agent on Sunday. However, before leaving, he donated half of his $82,000 playoff winnings to coastal restoration efforts and other charitable causes.

Browns general manager Tom Heckert said in a statement that he was glad to acquire Fujita and offensive lineman Tony Pashos.

"Scott possesses tremendous size for a linebacker, and this will allow him to play inside or outside in our 3-4 defense," he said. "He has been a starter throughout his career, has been exposed to several different defensive schemes and has been successful in all of them. He is a great leader and played a big part in the success that the Saints achieved last year."

The Browns finished the 2009 regular season with the second most losses in the AFC, tied with the Oakland Raiders.

Fujita, part of the Super Bowl-winning Saints, told The Advocate in February that other professional athletes will follow suit with being more vocal in their support for gay rights.

"By and large, the business of football is still pretty 1950s, where the status quo and conformity to the principles of 'just shut up and play football' are intact," he said. "But the athletes themselves are more than that. We're more than just football players, and many of us are much more open and tolerant than we get credit for."

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