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.

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'


Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."