The NFL hopes to conduct pre-training camp neurological tests on players to determine susceptibility to concussions.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said yesterday during a meeting with sports editors in New York that the league's medical committee has been working on a way to implement mandatory tests, perhaps as early as this summer when training camps open. That comes after a session at March's league meetings in Arizona in which officials and coaches agreed that head injuries need the closest monitoring.

"At no time should competitive issues override medical issues," Goodell said he told the coaches. "Safety comes first."

The issue of concussions has drawn added attention in recent months after a forensic pathologist who studied the brain tissue of former Eagle Andre Waters after his suicide last November at age 44 concluded Waters had brain damage. The damage resulted from multiple concussions during 12 years as an NFL safety.

In addition, the Boston Globe and New York Times reported in February that 34-year-old Ted Johnson, who spent 10 years as a linebacker with the New England Patriots, shows early signs of Alzheimer's disease, which he attributes to returning to play too soon after a 2002 concussion.

Also at the session, Goodell told the editors:

* The NFL is looking into the possibility of playing a Super Bowl outside the United States, although not before 2012 at the earliest. He said the three most likely spots would be London, Toronto or Mexico City, because they are in time zones that would allow the game to be televised in the United States at reasonable hours.

* The league also could expand its international appeal by cutting the exhibition season to three games and adding a 17th game, to be played outside the United States, which would have to be approved by the NFL Players Association.

Noteworthy

* The Chiefs quickly dispelled rumors they are shopping Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson before the draft.

* The Chiefs quickly dispelled rumors they are shopping Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson before the draft.

* Defensive end Charles Grant agreed to a 7-year contract extension with the New Orleans Saints, who disappointed Grant by designating him a franchise player.

* Police conducting a drug investigation raided a house in Smithfield, Va., owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and found dozens of dogs, some injured and emaciated. Police also found items associated with dog fighting. Police said Vick owns the property, but a relative, Davon Boddie, 26, lives there.

* Lisa Maree Gaut, who was with Chargers linebacker Steve Foley the night he was shot by an off-duty police officer, was found guilty of felony assault with a deadly weapon for trying to run down the officer with Foley's car.

In another matter, backup running back Michael Turner signed the $2.35 million, 1-year tender he received from the team after becoming a restricted free agent. *