What tangible benefit to the New Orleans Saints, today, in 2013 and beyond, comes from Drew Brees continually attacking Roger Goodell at every opportunity?
It wouldn't characterize it as at every opportunity. Brees has as much access to get anything he wants out there as much as he wants. I think he is not fearful of speaking what he thinks (usually responsive) and does so directly and concisely. The whole bountyfarce is still in play. As the both the team leader/captain and spokesperson I think his posture is appropriate. This furthers his stature in the locker room as a straight shooter and a guy that will back you up if you are right. When the case is closed then I am sure he will turn the page as well.
How long does this albatross hang around the collective neck of this organization before someone cuts the rope, tosses it away, and looks to the future.
My take is that it is a much larger albatross on the fans than the players. Many here might live enmeshed in the 24/7 sports media world. With that you can feel bombarded by the whole crappy thing. An attack on your organization can actually be a bonding factor for those inside. Many if not most of those guys are used up just trying to their job. They don't have time see what espn says and don't really care either. As above, the issue is still in play. So even if you aren't overloaded by it you still cannot fully go forward. Not until it is done with Vilma (no matter the end result) can the door be fully closed and move on.
Drew comes across not as a leader and a future HOFer, but as embittered and diminished
Simply disagree here. Again, I think if stick your head deep enough in the 24/7 media you are much more prone to think that way. When I stand back and look at the picture from real world experience I see leadership stronger. Who in that locker room wouldn't follow him into battle now? And also again, his comments are much more for and as a player- a lot more than for media or fans. You can play the media game with lawyer double talk (I find Goodell totally justified. So now I vacate the penalties.) or you can shoot straight.