NFL owners more open to rules changes when Patriots aren't proposing?

NFL owners more open to rules changes when Patriots aren't proposing?

PHOENIX -- The Patriots have come to the annual league meetings in each of the last two years without any proposals for new rules changes. Why? Maybe because they feel as though their proposals are doomed before they even reach the Competition Committee.

USA Today's Jarrett Bell tweeted a quote from an anonymous NFL owner on Monday that would support such an assumption.  

Over the last few years, Bill Belichick hasn't exactly hidden his tepid (and that might be putting it lightly) feelings for the league's rules-makers.

He's had a habit of sarcastically referring to them as "experts" at press conferences. He's openly wondered why the game has needed changing, particularly when it comes to the alterations made to the kicking game. And as recently as last month, at the NFL Scouting Combine, he joked on NFL Network about one of what has seemed like several instances in which a rules change has directly opposed something the Patriots did the season prior.

The last time Belichick and the Patriots submitted rules proposals, at the league meetings in 2015, they had three: They wanted to 1) make every play reviewable, 2) place fixed cameras on boundary lines, and 3) place extra-point attempts at the 15-yard line. 

The third eventually became a reality and point-after attempts became more competitive plays. The others have fallen on deaf ears, apparently.

The first is back up for a vote this year, proposed jointly by Buffalo and Seattle. The second failed two years ago and drew special attention when Belichick suggested that the billionaires running the league could hold a bake sale to raise funds for the additional cameras.

Washington's proposal mentioned in Bell's tweet would allow coaches to be given an unlimited number of challenges in a given game so long as previous challenges were successful. That would seem to fall in line with the Patriots' challenge rule-proposal philosophy, which has been essentially, "let's do all we can to ensure the correct calls are made."

And because a team other than the Patriots has submitted it, maybe it has a shot. 

Eric Ebron signs two-year deal with Colts

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Eric Ebron signs two-year deal with Colts

Former Lions tight end Eric Ebron is signing a two-year deal worth $15 million with the Colts, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Ebron was rumored to be a potential target for the Patriots, especially after new Pats running back Jeremy Hill tried recruiting him to the team.

The 24-year-old had 53 receptions for 574 yards and four touchdowns a season ago with Detroit. 


Patriots release Shea McClellin

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Patriots release Shea McClellin

Shea McClellin will be blocking kicks for somebody else next season. 

The Patriots announced Monday they've released the veteran linebacker, ending his tenure with the team after two seasons.  ESPN's Field Yates broke the news.

The Pats signed McClellin to a three-year deal prior to the 2016 season, but that was the only season in which he played for the team. McClellin missed all of last season due to injury. Prior to coming to New England, McClellin played four seasons with the Bears, who chose him 19th overall in 2012. 

McClellin's biggest contribution with the Pats came when he blocked a Justin Tucker kick in Week 14 of the 2016 season against the Ravens.