Goodell: League must focus on safety
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the league will continue to do ‘‘everything we can’’ to make football safer. Player safety has been a frequent topic of conversation recently and Goodell discussed it again Wednesday during a lecture at the University of North Carolina. Goodell said the league ‘‘will continue to make rule changes, invest in equipment and provide our medical staffs with the tools and authorities’’ to prevent injuries and that concussions are down 40 percent in the two seasons in which kickoffs were moved up to the 35-yard line . . . Contrary to reports, the 49ers’ interest in Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is “.001 on a scale of 1-10,” a San Francisco team source told ESPN, citing Revis’s price tag, both in contract and draft-pick compensation, as well as his anterior cruciate ligament injury last October. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff also downplayed the potential of Atlanta trading for Revis in comments to ESPN . . . Redskins linebacker London Fletcher underwent left ankle surgery and said he plans to play next season, the Washington Post reported. He is also scheduled to undergo elbow surgery later this month, according to a person familiar with the situation . . . David Akers was released by the 49ers after two seasons. In 2011, Akers set NFL records with 44 field goals made and 52 attempted, but made just 29 of 44 last season . . . Quarterback Vince Young, who will work out at the University of Texas’s pro day March 26 in hopes of another shot to play in the NFL, said he recently sent a letter to Rams coach Jeff Fisher, apologizing for his actions during their time together with the Titans. . . A Florida Senate panel approved a measure guaranteeing $3 million a year for the next 30 years to help pay for upgrades at Sun Life Stadium, but changed the bill to require a referendum before local taxes can be used . . .
A.J. Smith, fired in December after nine years as general manager of the Chargers, joined the Redskins as a senior executive.
Patriots’ Thomas will test free agency
Patriots offensive lineman Donald Thomas
is “fully expected” to test the free agent market, a league source said Wednesday. The Patriots are interested in re-signing Thomas, 27, who played in all 16 regular-season games and both postseason games last season. He started seven, all but one at left guard.
SHALISE MANZA YOUNG
ACC willing to take Notre Dame early
The ACC will allow Notre Dame to join the league this summer if it can exit the Big East, sources told ESPN. Notre Dame intended to stay in the Big East through 2013-14 as long as the league’s seven Catholic basketball schools remained. But those schools — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova — are expected to announce in the coming days they are leaving the Big East to begin their own league on July 1 . . . Police say Syracuse junior defensive end Markus Pierce-Brewster and junior defensive tackle Davon Walls were charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor petit larceny in connection with the burglary of an apartment Feb. 23 . . . Luke Martinez, a senior guard on the Wyoming basketball team accused of kicking an unconscious man in the face in a bar fight Dec. 30, pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated assault and battery . . .
Ameen Najjar, a former investigator who worked the NCAA’s inquiry of Miami athletics, wrote a letter on former booster and convicted felon Nevin Shapiro’s behalf just days before he was sentenced two years ago, even suggesting the NCAA could hire Shapiro as a consultant . . . Hockey East suspended Boston College forward Brendan Silk one game for an illegal head hit March 2 against Providence.
Rangers’ Staal out with an eye injury
New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is sidelined indefinitely after being struck in the eye by a puck Tuesday. Doctors are optimistic he will recover fully but the specific injury wasn’t disclosed. New York claimed defenseman Roman Hamrlik, 38, off waivers from the Washington Capitals . . . Police say both people stabbed Tuesday outside Chesapeake Arena as an Oklahoma City Thunder game was ending have been released from a hospital. Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said initial reports of one person being critically wounded were incorrect and that neither injury is life-threatening . . . Abby Wambach got her 154th goal, four shy of Mia Hamm’s record, and Rachel Buehler and Shannon Boxx also scored as the US women’s soccer team beat Iceland, 3-0, in the first game of the Algarve Cup in Faro, Portugal . . . The Boston Lobsters will begin the World TeamTennis season July 7, hosting the New York Sportimes in Manchester.