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NFL notebook: Goodell to discuss work environment with players union

Associated Press

Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday in Orlando, Fla., that the NFL will meet on April 8 with the players union to discuss improving the workplace environment. In the wake of the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal, league representatives have met with some 40 players in the last three months, as well as with the Dolphins and outside organizations, Goodell said at the NFL owners meetings.

He said the focus is on medical evaluations of the players involved, including tackle Jonathan Martin, who left the Dolphins in the middle of last season, saying he was harassed by guard Richie Incognito. Martin was traded to the 49ers earlier this month.

An NFL investigation determined Incognito and two other Miami Dolphins offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of Martin. Incognito was then suspended. He became a free agent when his contract with the Dolphins expired. … On Monday, Incognito made a peace offering to Martin via Twitter. Incognito posted: “Call me on my cell phone. Love you brother.’’ … The NFL Foundation is giving USA Football a five-year, $45 million grant to expand the Heads Up Football program that teaches safe tackling to youngsters. Foundation Chair Charlotte Jones Anderson announced the grant at the league’s owners meetings. …The Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets each will receive four compensatory picks in this year’s draft for free agents they lost in 2013. Baltimore gets spots in the third, fourth and fifth rounds, with two choices in Round 4. Those slots are 99th, 134th, 138th and 175th. The Jets will get slots 139, 209, 210 and 213: a fourth-rounder and three sixth-rounders.

GUILTY PLEA — Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington pleaded guilty to charges that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend last year in Phoenix, breaking her collarbone. Washington, 27, had a change of plea hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. Sentencing is scheduled for April 23.

BENGALS PACT — The Cincinnati Bengals have signed free-agent cornerback R.J. Stanford from the Dolphins, giving them a player with a lot of experience on special teams. … Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said during NFL owners meetings in Florida on Sunday that the team isn’t ruling out the chance at bringing back Coventry and Kent State star James Harrison, a linebacker who spent a decade with the club before being released last spring. Harrison spent 2013 with the Bengals but is looking for work after he was cut.


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