Report: NFL competition committee likely to propose ban of field-goal leaps

Report: NFL competition committee likely to propose ban of field-goal leaps

We may have seen the last of the Jamie Collins Leap.

The play that garnered more than its fair share of attention in 2015 when the former Patriots linebacker bounded over the Colts long-snapper and blocked an Adam Vinatieri kick could be banned in the NFL for 2017 and beyond.

According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the league's competition committee is "likely to propose [a] ban on field goal and extra point 'leaps.' " Maske points out that the NFLPA suggested the ban at this year's Scouting Combine. 

If the ban is put in place, it probably won't go over well at One Patriot Place. Bill Belichick called for it twice last season following Collins' departure via trade.

Shea McClellin blocked a field goal by Baltimore's Justin Tucker during the regular season, which was Tucker's first miss of the year. McClellin tried to do the same to Falcons kicker Matt Bryant during an extra-point attempt in the second quarter of Super Bowl LI but was penalized for illegal formation. However, replays showed McClellin jumped over the gap between the snapper and the guard, which is legal.

"The prohibition would be a player-safety measure designed to protect both the player doing the leaping and any offensive player on which he might land," Maske wrote. "Under current rules, such a leap is illegal if the player lands on an offensive player but legal if the player successfully clears the line of scrimmage."

All NFL owners will consider proposals by the competition committee early next week in Phoenix during the annual league meeting. Twenty-four of 32 teams must approve of any proposal in order for a rule-change to be made.

Hightower, Branch will begin training camp on PUP list


Hightower, Branch will begin training camp on PUP list

The Patriots will be without two of last year's defensive starters when training camp begins later this week. 

Both Dont'a Hightower and Alan Branch were placed on the physically unable to perform list on Monday. They are eligible to come off the list at any time. Once they are removed from the list, they will be eligible to practice fully. Players on PUP count against the 90-man training-camp roster.

Undrafted rookie tackle Andrew Jelks will begin camp on the active/non-football injury list. The Vanderbilt product dealt with knee injuries that kept him off the field each of the last two seasons. 

Neither Hightower, nor Branch, nor Jelks participated in spring practices at Gillette Stadium. Hightower was present for voluntary work, but during practices open to the media he typically did some conditioning off to the side. Branch skipped optional team activities (as he usually does), and though he was in Foxboro for mandatory minicamp, he did not practice during that three-day stretch.

Hightower was limited last season with knee and shoulder injuries. The's Albert Breer said on Sports Sunday that Hightower's health concerns made teams reticent to make him offers that would lure him away from New England. 

Report: Patriots in talks with CB Brandon Flowers


Report: Patriots in talks with CB Brandon Flowers

In what’s been a somewhat busy offseason for their secondary, veteran cornerback Brandon Flowers is in talks with the Patriots, according to Adam Schefter. 

Flowers, who spent the first six seasons of his career with the Chiefs and last three with the Chargers, was released in March. He is set to meet with the Cardinals this week as well. 

The Pats lost cornerback Logan Ryan this offseason, but landed the top free agent corner on the market in Stephon Gilmore. A potential addition of Flowers might give them an insurance policy if second-year pro Cyrus Jones fails to improve from a dismal rookie season. 

Flowers was limited to just six games last season, as a concussion ended his season in December. He has played in at least 11 games in the rest of his NFL seasons. His lone Pro Bowl nod came in the 2013 season.