The NFL is partnering with Boston University brain researchers who have been critical of the league's stance on concussions, The Associated Press has learned.

The league is going to encourage current and former NFL players to agree to donate their brains to the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed the league also is committed to giving $1 million or more to the center. Aiello said the league has held discussions with the NFL Alumni Association about suggesting retired players look into participating in BU's work.

The BU group has said it found links between repeated head trauma and brain damage in boxers, football players and, most recently, a former NHL player.