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Scott Fujita
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Fujita in November 2007
No. --     Free agent
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1979-04-28) April 28, 1979 (age 40)
Place of birth: Camarillo, California
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
College: California
NFL Draft: 2002 / Round: 5 / Pick: 143
Debuted in 2002 for the Kansas City Chiefs
Career history
Roster status: Injured Reserve
Career highlights and awards
  • Honorable mention All-Pac-10 (2000-2001)
  • Academic All-Pac-10 (2001)
  • NFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 3, 2006)
  • Super Bowl Champion (XLIV)
Career NFL statistics as of 2012
Tackles     767
Sacks     23.5
Interceptions     7
Stats at NFL.com

Scott Anthony Fujita (pron.: /fˈtə/;[1] born April 28, 1979) is an American football linebacker who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He played college football at California.

Fujita has also played for the Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns.

Early yearsEdit

Although Fujita's last name is Japanese, he is Caucasian, and he is the adopted son of Rodney Fujita, who is Japanese-American, and his wife Helen, who is Caucasian.[2][3] His father was one of the Japanese-Americans interned during World War II; his father's family was held at the Gila River War Relocation Center.[4]

Fujita grew up in a traditional Japanese household, celebrating Japanese festivals and holidays, and eating with chopsticks. His grandparents have several bonsai trees on their property.

He attended Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard, California.

Professional careerEdit

Kansas City ChiefsEdit

Fujita was drafted in the 5th round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Dallas CowboysEdit

Fujita was traded to the Dallas Cowboys before the 2005 season.

New Orleans SaintsEdit

On March 13, 2006, Fujita signed with the Saints, reuniting with his former position coach as well as offensive coordinator (now head coach Sean Payton). He was the first free agent to join the Saints when they returned to New Orleans after their year-long absence in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.[5]

Fujita was named defensive captain of the 2007 Saints. In Week 1 of the 2008 season, Fujita caught a crucial game-winning interception in the very end against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the 2009 season, he earned a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Saints team that won Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010, defeating the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 to win the team's first league championship.

Cleveland BrownsEdit

File:Scott Fujita Cleveland Browns.jpg

Fujita was a free agent after the 2009 season, and on March 7, 2010, he signed a contract worth $14 million over three years, including $8 million in guaranteed money, with the Cleveland Browns.[6] In September he was elected one of the Browns' defensive captains for the 2010 season.[7] Through nine games, Fujita was second on the team in tackles and sacks, but he was injured in a November 14 game against the New York Jets and was expected to be out of action for an extended period.[8] Fujita was suspended by the NFL for the first 3 games of the 2012 season because of his alleged participation in the Saints' bounty scandal. On September 7, his suspension was lifted.[9]

On October 9, 2012, four weeks and three days after an internal appeals panel vacated suspensions imposed on Fujita, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove, the league re-issued the discipline, with reductions to the suspensions of Fujita and Hargrove. Vilma's suspension remained a full season, and Smith's remained four games. Fujita's suspension was reduced from three games to one, and Hargrove's reduced from eight games to seven.[10] After Week 6 against the New York Giants, Fujita was placed on injured reserve after injuring his neck, ending his season.[11]

Former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue eventually exonerated Fujita of all culpability and wrongdoing in the Saints pay-for-play scandal, vacating his suspension and clearing his record.

Personal lifeEdit

Fujita is married with three children; he and his family have a home in Carmel Valley, California.[5] He is politically liberal, and has gone on record as a supporter of abortion rights and gay rights as well as an advocate for adoption, wetlands preservation, and other causes; he was named the Saints "Man of the Year" in 2009 for his charitable activities.[12][13][14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "2004 Kansas City Chiefs Rosters and Depth Chart". p. 6.
  2. "Tackling adoption not issue for Fujita". The Dallas Morning News. 2005-12-17.
  3. Silver, Michael (2010-02-03). "Saints' Fujita defies stereotypes". Yahoo! Sports. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ms-fujitadefiesodds020310. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  4. "A linebacker with a conscience". ESPN, Page 2 section. 2006-11-10. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=fleming/061110.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Anderson, Mark C. (2009-09-23). "Fujita’s Warrior Heart: New county resident Scott Fujita uses the game to attack everything from quarterbacks to social injustice". Monterey County Weekly. http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/archives/2010/2010-Sep-23/new-county-resident-scott-fujita-uses-the-game-to-attack-everything-from-quarterbacks-to-social-injustice/1/. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  6. Grossi, Tony (2010-03-07). "Cleveland Browns sign first two free agents, linebacker Scott Fujita and lineman Tony Pashos". The Plain Dealer. http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2010/03/cleveland_browns_sign_former_n.html. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  7. Florjancic, Matt (2010-09-08). "Browns name 2010 captains". ClevelandBrowns.com. http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/news/article-1/Browns-name-2010-captains/a4c7c134-4e28-46cc-8658-172d226933de. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
  8. Cabot, Mary Kay (2010-11-15). "Scott Fujita 'could be a little while' with knee injury, guard Billy Yates on IR: Browns Insider". The Plain Dealer. http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2010/11/cleveland_browns_linebacker_sc.html. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  9. "Saints player bounty suspensions overturned on appeal". NFL.com. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000059459/article/saints-player-bounty-suspensions-overturned-on-appeal. Retrieved 2012-09-08.
  10. Brooks, Matt. "Report: NFL re-issues bounty suspensions for Saints players". The Washington Times. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/wp/2012/10/09/nfl-re-issues-bounty-suspensions-for-saints-players/. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  11. "Season, maybe career, over for Browns' Fujita". Yahoo! Sports. 2012-10-24. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/season-over-browns-lb-scott-163452126--nfl.html. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
  12. Lapointe, Joe (2010-02-02). "The Saints Linebacker Who Speaks His Mind". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/sports/football/03fujita.html?hp.
  13. Zirin, Dave (2010-03-18). "Why I Support the National Equality March": NFL's Scott Fujita Speaks Out for Gay Rights". Huffington Post.com. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-zirin/why-i-support-the-nationa_b_310890.html.
  14. Withers, Tom (2010-08-25). "Browns LB Fujita wants to save Louisiana wetlands". AP in The Washington Post. http://stats.washingtonpost.com/fb/story.asp?i=20100825182941849466408&ref=rec&tm=5&src=NFL. Retrieved 2010-09-24.

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