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NFL roundup: Owners deal with rules changes; Broncos want Dumervil back

The SportsXchange

Owners passed two safety-related rules Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting, but they tabled two more controversial rule changes.

Peel-back blocks are now banned, and teams are now prohibited from overloading one side of the defensive line on point-after and field-goal attempts.

The much-discussed crown-of-the-helmet rule proposal did not come up for a vote, according to the NFL Network. After a lively discussion of the controversial proposal, a vote was postponed until Wednesday.

Also, a vote on the infamous "tuck rule" is expected to come up Wednesday, with all indications that it would be eliminated. The tuck rule allowed a fumbled ball moving forward in the hand of a quarterback to be called an incomplete pass.

Under a proposed change, a player who initiated contact with the crown of his helmet anywhere outside of the tackle box would be penalized. The suggestion has drawn criticism from running backs past and present, including Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Marshall Faulk as well as current Chicago Bears rusher Matt Forte.

However, Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown told Newsday he favors the suggested rule change.

Under a newly implemented change, peel-back or chop blocks will be outlawed inside the tackle box. Such a block would result in a 15-yard penalty.

The regulation likely will be known as the "Brian Cushing Rule," after the Houston Texans linebacker who suffered a season-ending knee injury last season on an inside chop block.

As for placekicks, the overload rule was created because kick-defense teams were rushing through the gaps created by lining up more defensive players than the offense could block. Defensive teams now can have just six or fewer 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.

--Denver Broncos executive vice president John Elway said the team wants to re-sign free agent defensive end Elvis Dumervil.

"We've offered Elvis a contract," Elway said. "We'd like to have Elvis back. We'd like to get it done as soon as possible, but I'm sure Elvis wants to see what else is out there."

The Broncos released Dumervil on Friday, about 35 minutes after he accepted a $4 million reduction in salary (from $12 million to $8 million), because the necessary paperwork wasn't filed by the 3:59 p.m. ET deadline.

That led to Dumervil firing his agent, Marty Magid, and replacing him with well-known veteran representative Tom Condon, who along with the Broncos then lost an appeal to have the verbal agreement honored by the league.

--Wes Welker's representatives disagreed with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's version of the discussions that sent the popular receiver to the Denver Broncos.

The statement from Athletes First, released to NFL.com, said the agency received one "take it or leave it" offer that left no other choice except the free agency route, and that eventually led to the Broncos deal.

--Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy said the team is exploring a long-term contract with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Murphy told reporters at the owners meeting that a deal likely would be done before the start of the season and would make him the NFL's highest-paid player.

"It's a priority," Murphy said. "I think as an organization, I think we all want to see that get done."

--The Indianapolis Colts agreed to a two-year deal with veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who was released by the division rival Tennessee Titans on Monday. The contract is worth $8 million over two years, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Hasselbeck gives the Colts needed experience behind Andrew Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft who led the team to the playoffs as a rookie.

--As long as Tim Tebow remains property of the New York Jets, he'll get a chance to compete for the starting job, coach Rex Ryan said at the owners meeting.

Ryan said embattled incumbent Mark Sanchez will begin the offseason program as the starter, but his spot isn't guaranteed.

Sanchez threw for 2,883 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, ranking him 26th in passing and tied for 25th in touchdowns. He also tied Indianapolis Colts rookie Andrew Luck for third with 18 interceptions.

--David Carr, who has attempted three passes the past two seasons with the New York Giants, has agreed to re-sign with the team to continue serving as Eli Manning's backup.

Carr, 33, was the first overall pick in the 2002 draft by the Houston Texans. He spent five seasons as the Texans' starter before bouncing from the Carolina Panthers to the Giants and then the San Francisco 49ers before returning to New York in 2011.

Also, the Giants announced the signing of receiver Louis Murphy. He is entering his fifth NFL season. He has started 24 of the 57 games in which he has appeared, and he's caught 115 passes for 1,707 yards with seven touchdowns.

--Defensive tackle Randy Starks signed his franchise tender with the Miami Dolphins, guaranteeing his $8.3 million salary for 2013. Starks had 27 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 16 games last season and was named to the Pro Bowl.

The 29-year-old is entering his 10th NFL season. Drafted in 2004 by the Tennessee Titans, Starks joined the Dolphins in 2008 and has missed only one start in the past four seasons.

Also, offensive lineman Nate Garner re-signed with the Dolphins. The sixth-year veteran has appeared in 48 career games, seeing action at all five positions along the line.

--Jacksonville center Brad Meester has signed a one-year deal that will keep him with Jaguars for a 14th straight season. Meester, a second-round draft choice by the Jags in 2000, has missed just 15 games during his career and none since 2008.

--The Washington Redskins re-signed offensive tackle Tyler Polumbus for a third season with the team. The Redskins didn't announce the terms, but Polumbus tweeted that he signed for "2 more years."

--Free agent cornerback D.J. Moore signed with the Panthers. Moore played 13 games with the Chicago Bears last season. He had two interceptions and 29 tackles.

--The Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins will play in the 2013 Hall of Fame game August 4 in Canton, Ohio.

Bill Parcells, Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden, Cris Carter and Warren Sapp will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in a ceremony Aug. 3 along with two senior candidates: defensive tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson.