Peel-back blocks outlawed by NFL for 2013 season

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NFL owners approved two rule changes Tuesday to enhance player safety.

However, they might not vote on a proposal to ban offensive players from using the crown of their helmets against defenders.

The owners outlawed peel-back blocks anywhere on the field; previously, they were illegal only inside the tackle box. A player makes a peel-back block when he is moving toward his goal line, approaches an opponent from behind or the side, and makes contact below the waist.

The penalty will be 15 yards.

Also banned is overloading a formation while attempting to block a field goal or extra point. Defensive teams can now have only six or less players on each side of the snapper at the line of scrimmage. Players not on the line can’t push teammates on the line into blockers, either.

The alignment violation is a 5-yard penalty. The pushing penalty is 15 yards for unnecessary roughness.

But the potential change that has drawn the most attention is prohibiting ball carriers outside the tackle box from lowering their helmets and making contact with defenders with the crown.

New York Giants owner John Mara, a member of the competition committee that has recommended the change, expressed doubt Tuesday that the proposal would be voted on before Wednesday, when the owners meetings conclude. He also said there was “a chance” it could be tabled until the May meetings in Boston.

BRONCOS: After the fax faux pas and denied appeals, Denver and free agent Elvis Dumervil may be close to a reconciliation.

“We’ve offered Elvis a contract,” Broncos team president John Elway said Tuesday. “We’d like to have Elvis back.”

Elway did not delve into specifics of the offer.

Dumervil and the Broncos agreed upon a restructured contract that would have paid him $8 million in 2013. However, Dumervil’s agent did not get the paperwork faxed to the team until seven minutes after the NFL deadline on Friday. The Broncos were forced to cut Dumervil because they would have had to pay him $12 million in 2013 otherwise.

Dumervil fired agent Marty Magid on Saturday. The Broncos are open to re-signing Dumervil and he reportedly wants to return.

RAVENS: Free agent defensive end Marcus Spears has signed with Baltimore to help the reigning Super Bowl champions’ run defense.

The former Dallas Cowboys’ first-round pick also believes playing in Baltimore will provide him the chance to get a championship ring of his own.

Released by the Cowboys last week after an eight-year run in Dallas, Spears signed a two-year contract with the Ravens on Monday.

JAGUARS: Center Brad Meester has decided to rejoin Jacksonville, signing a one-year deal to play a 14th season.

Meester, a second-round draft pick in 2000, has spent his entire career in Jacksonville.

He holds franchise records for games played (193) and started (193), and is the only player to spend 13 seasons with the club.

GIANTS: With leading receiver Victor Cruz still unsigned, New York has added Louis Murphy.

The Giants on Tuesday confirmed the signing of the speedy receiver who played last season with Carolina. The five-year veteran has 115 receptions for 1,707 yards and seven touchdowns, including 25 catches with the Panthers in 2012.


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