ORLANDO, Fla. – Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league will meet 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 about 40 players in the last three months, as well as with the Dolphins and outside organizations, Goodell said Monday at the owners meetings.
The league is trying to get “as much input as possible. It’s more about people understanding the importance of a proper workplace,” Goodell said.
Goodell 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 and other offensive linemen. Martin was traded to the San Francisco 49ers earlier this month.
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An NFL investigation concluded Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey engaged in persistent harassment of Martin. Incognito was suspended and missed the final eight games last season, and 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. (Stuff) got crazy but we held it together,” with the hash tags of CALLME and FAMILY.
Goodell noted improving the workplace environment involves “a culture change.” He did not address what discipline any of the players face from the league for the bullying.
“What we need to do is make sure we have a workplace we are all proud of. This will be an important meeting with the players,” Goodell said.
• Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington pleaded guilty to charges he assaulted his ex-girlfriend during an argument at her apartment in May.
Washington, 27, had a change-of-plea hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. Sentencing is scheduled for April 23.
Washington has started 53 games over four seasons for Arizona. He had nine sacks last season.
• A judge in Los Angeles has again refused to release former All-Pro safety Darren Sharper, 38, from jail.
Sharper is awaiting trial in Los Angeles after pleading not guilty to charges he sexually assaulted and drugged two women last year.
Sharper previously was released on $1 million bail before being charged in Arizona with similar counts.
• The Philadelphia Eagles are interested in signing Mark Sanchez, former New York Jets quarterback, a league source told The Philadelphia Inquirer, though the Eagles reportedly need their medical staff to evaluate Sanchez before reaching a deal.
Sanchez missed all of last season with a torn labrum suffered Aug. 24.
According to the Daily News of New York, other teams to express interest in Sanchez include St. Louis, Tennessee and Cleveland.
• Wide receiver Kassim Osgood, 33, a special-teams standout, re-signed for one year with the San Francisco 49ers.
• Washington owner Dan Snyder said he is creating the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation in an effort to assist American Indian tribes, even as many continue to assert the name “Redskins” is offensive.
American Indian activist Suzan Shown Harjo said Snyder’s gesture is “somewhere between a PR assault and bribery.”