Roger Goodell meeting with 'bounty' players expected Tuesday

WASHINGTON -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to meet Tuesday with the four players whose suspensions for their involvement in the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" program were temporarily lifted, a source with direct knowledge of the scheduling told NFL.com and NFL Network's Albert Breer.

Goodell had earlier said he wanted to meet with the players "as soon as possible."

Appearing at a hearing on Capitol Hill, Goodell noted Wednesday that the league "offered several times to have them come in as part of the hearing process, the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) process, and I hope that they'll do that soon."

An appeals panel last week overturned the suspensions of Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma (2012 season) and defensive end Will Smith (four games) for their roles in the team's bounty program from 2009 to 2011. Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita got three games and defensive end Anthony Hargrove, now a free agent, received eight.

The appeals panel said Goodell overstepped his authority in hearing the players' appeals of their punishments.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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