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Bears’ Forte calls proposed NFL helmet rule ‘absurd’

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte is questioning a proposed rule that would penalize ball carriers who lead with the crown of their helmet outside of the tackle box

HARRISON MCCLARY/REUTERS

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte criticized a proposed rule that would penalize ball carriers who lead with the crown of their helmet outside of the tackle box.

The rule, which would call for a 15-yard penalty, is reportedly being proposed as a safety measure to discourage runners from using their heads to deliver blows. Incidental contact would not be penalized.

Forte used Twitter on Sunday to call the proposal "absurd."

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"The proposed rule change for running backs might be the most absurd suggestion of a rule change I've ever heard of," Forte wrote. "In order to lower ur shoulder u obviously have to lower ur head. It's a way of protecting ur self from a tackler and a way to break tackles."

Forte believes it would be too difficult for ball carriers to adjust to the rule change.

"U can't change the instinctive nature of running the football," he wrote.

Forte had 248 carries for 1,094 yards with five rushing touchdowns last year.

--Free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was scheduled to visit the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, according to Comcast Sports Net Bay Area. Rob Ryan, the Saints' new defensive co-ordinator, was Asomugha's coordinator with the Oakland Raiders from 2004-08.

--Minnesota Vikings left guard Charlie Johnson restructured his contract, cutting his maximum salary and cap number for the year by $500,000, ESPN1500 reported.

The new contract dropped his cap number from $4.35-million to $3.85-million.

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--Baltimore Ravens wide receiver/returner Jacoby Jones received a $1-million roster bonus, according to the Baltimore Sun.

The move signals that he likely has a secure spot on the Super Bowl-winning team's roster. He received the bonus on Friday.

The Ravens also remain in the picture for free agent safety Ed Reed.

USA Today reported that Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome plans to meet with Reed's agent, David Dunn, at the NFL Annual Meeting this week. At that point, Newsome is expected to make an offer to Reed.

Reed is expected to make a decision on a team this week.

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