The NFL is always looking for ways to enhance its on-field product, and the Competition Committee recently announced new rule and bylaw proposals to be voted on at the Owners Meetings in Orlando next week. Among all teams, the Washington Redskins and New England Patriots were most active in offering proposals.
Here are the proposed rule changes:
1. Move the kickoff to the 40-yard line.
2. Expand instant replay to include personal foul penalties.
3. Eliminate overtime in the preseason.
4. Extend the goal posts an additional five feet above the cross bar.
5. Move the line of scrimmage for extra point attempts to the 25-yard line. Two-point conversion attempts would still be snapped from the 2-yard line.
6. Put six cameras on all boundary lines - sideline, goal line, end line, to guarantee coverage for replay reviews.
7. Permit a coach to challenge any official's decision, except scoring plays which are automatically reviewed.
8. Protect players from getting the sides of their legs rolled up on — the rule already says a blocker can't hit an opponent in the back of the legs, this proposal will add "or side" to the rule.
9. Allow the referee to consult with members of the NFL officiating department during replay reviews. The referee would be able to speak with the command center in New York to help in reviewing a play.
10. Re-organize the rules about what can be reviewed and what cannot be reviewed, including making the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play reviewable. This is referred to as the NaVorro Bowman rule, after a controversial call in this past season's NFC Championship Game.
11. Don't stop the clock on a sack. Currently, the clock stops on a sack and then restarts when the ball is placed at the new line of scrimmage.
12. Modify pass interference so that it can be called within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage.
13. Enforce defensive fouls behind the line of scrimmage from the previous spot, rather than from the end of the run or from the spot of the foul.
1. Raise the number of active players on game day from 46 to 49 for regular season games played on a day other than Sunday or Monday, excluding Week One.
2. Raise the practice squad limit from eight players to 10 players.
3. Permit clubs to trade players prior to the start of the league year.
4. Eliminate the cut-down to 75 players during Training Camp and instead just have one cut-down from 90 players to 53 players.
5. Permit more than one player to return to the active list from Injured Reserve so that any player on Injured Reserve could return after six weeks.
6. Permit each club to time and test up to 10 draft-eligible players at its facility, and allow any club that wishes to attend timing and testing at another team's facility.
7. Adjust the time of the roster reduction after the fourth preseason game from 6 p.m. EST to 4 p.m. EST. All teams would have to have their list of final cuts in by 4 p.m.
1. Permit a home team with a retractable roof to open or close its roof at halftime, instead of having to determine at the start of the game whether it is open or closed.