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Union expects lawyers to gain access to 'bounty' evidence

NEW YORK -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he will meet with the NFL Players Association on Monday to discuss player involvement in the Saints' "bounty" program.

The NFLPA has hired outside counsel to help it navigate the potential player sanctions related to the "bounty" case.

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Goodell also said while appearing on CNBC on Monday, via The New York Times, that he expects to have a decision on the appeals of those already punished by the end of the week. The NFL expects to hear the appeals from coach Sean Payton, assistant coach Joe Vitt, general manager Mickey Loomis and the team at some point this week.

The union's contingent will be made up of lawyers. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith may or may not be a part of the group, but the source said the intention of the visit is clear -- the union expects its lawyers to see the full scope of the evidence as it relates to player involvement in the case.

To this point, the NFLPA has seen the executive summary distributed to owners, which includes examples of the transgressions. But it has not seen video of incidents or hard evidence yet.

The union also warned players involved that criminal charges could be sought eventually against the perpetrators, but couched it as a very remote possibility.

In an attempt to investigate the case independently, Smith and the union's lawyers also met individually with Saints quarterback Drew Brees and defensive end Will Smith, as well as ex-Saints linebacker Scott Fujita at the NFLPA player rep meeting in Marco Island, Fla. in March.

Follow Albert Breer on Twitter @AlbertBreer.

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