NEW ORLEANS -

The NFL has provided a federal judge with what it says is evidence Commissioner Roger Goodell did not improperly pre-judge players in the bounty investigation.

The evidence includes a copy of a letter the NFL Players Association sent the league on March 7 asking Goodell to delay punishment of players implicated in the bounty probe.

It also includes a sworn declaration from Goodell in which he states he was prepared to hand down player discipline at the same time he announced suspensions for coaches and executives on March 21. Goodell's declaration states he held off after verbally agreeing to do so in a phone conversation with union head DeMaurice Smith.

Attorneys for four suspended players have argued Goodell showed improper bias with comments he made before announcing player discipline.