The NFL’s competition committee will propose the elimination of the controversial “tuck rule” first made famous — or infamous, depending upon one’s perspective — when it helped the New England Patriots and their quarterback, Tom Brady, to a playoff victory en route to a Super Bowl triumph.
The tuck rule, added to the NFL’s rulebook in 1999, says that a quarterback’s throwing motion begins when he raises the ball in his hand and begins to move his arm forward. The quarterback’s throwing motion doesn’t end, under the rule, until the quarterback tucks the ball back against his body.
If the ball comes loose any time in between, it’s not a fumble. It’s an incomplete pass. Only if the quarterback reloads, and raises the ball again to start a new throwing motion, can he fumble, under the tuck rule.
Under the proposed change, a fumble would be ruled if a defender knocks the ball from the quarterback’s hand if the quarterback lowers the ball from his throwing motion but has not tucked the ball into his body. It still would be an incomplete pass if the ball is knocked from the quarterback’s hand while the quarterback’s arm is moving forward in the passing motion.
The proposal would have to be ratified by at least 24 of the 32 NFL teams. The owners are scheduled to meet next week in Phoenix at the annual league meeting.
The tuck rule came to prominence when it saved Brady from a fumble late in a triumph over the Oakland Raiders in an AFC playoff game in January 2002. The Patriots went on to the first of their three Super Bowl wins.
●REDSKINS: Originally scheduled to pay Washington a free agent visit this weekend, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblood moved up his schedule and has reached an agreement with the team two days early, a person with knowledge of the situation said. Financial terms of the deal weren’t immediately available.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Redskins see Bruce Allen’s 2006 second-round pick as a starter, or as a backup. (Trueblood also played under current Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris in Tampa when Morris was head coach there from 2009 to 2011.)
Washington earlier this week signed former Cleveland Browns right tackle Tony Pashos, who like Trueblood is coming off an injury.
The only other right tackle on the roster is Tom Compton, who spent the bulk of his rookie season out of South Dakota on Washington’s practice squad. . . .
The Redskins also re-signed backup linebacker and special teams contributor Bryan Kehl to a one-year deal, his agent confirmed. A six-year veteran, Kehl spent the offseason and training camp with Washington, shining both on defense and special teams during the preseason, but didn’t survive final cuts. The team claimed him off of waivers late in the season, and he appeared in five games, recording five tackles.
●FALCONS: Atlanta agreed with free agent running back Steven Jackson on a three-year deal. Terms were not announced.
Jackson, 29, had 1,042 yards rushing with the Rams last season. It was his eighth straight season with more than 1,000 yards rushing.
Jackson, who has played his entire career with St. Louis, has 10,135 yards rushing, the most of any active player.