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Competition Committee announces new rule, bylaw proposals

kickoff Getty Images

The NFL Competition Committee announced 13 new rule proposals, seven new bylaw proposals and one proposed resolution on a conference call on Wednesday. The NFL’s owners will vote at next week’s league meeting on the potential changes, which we detail below.

Rule change proposals:

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 one-point extra point kicks to the defensive team’s 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 the NFC Championship Game.)

11. Don’t stop the clock on a sack.

12. Modify pass interference so that it can be called within one 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.

Bylaw proposals:

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 from 53 after the fourth preseason game from 6 p.m. Eastern to 4 p.m. Eastern. All teams would have to have their list of final cuts in by 4 p.m.

Resolution proposal:

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.

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74 Responses to “Competition Committee announces new rule, bylaw proposals”
  1. realnflmaster says: Mar 19, 2014 3:26 PM

    Do these rules involve actually punishing the NE Cheaters for their past transgressions?

  2. ✦ Pittsburgh is the City of Champions ✦ says: Mar 19, 2014 3:27 PM

    Wait, a sack stops the clock? Really?

  3. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 19, 2014 3:28 PM

    1. Move the kickoff to the 40-yard line.

    FAIL

    12. Modify pass interference so that it can be called within one yard of the line of scrimmage.

    HORRENDOUS FAIL

    The rest of them actually don’t seem too bad. Some of them are good ideas.

  4. RavenzGunnerz says: Mar 19, 2014 3:29 PM

    8. Allow the use of PED if the other team (Ahem… Seattle) is using them.

  5. skinsrock says: Mar 19, 2014 3:30 PM

    #13… When the offense commits a penalty inside the 20… The defense has 2 choices:

    1. Take half the distance to the goal or

    2. Add the yardage from the line of scrimmage… IE… instead of 1st & 10 from 10 … now it’s 1st & 20 from the 10 for a holding call… instead of 1st & 15 from the 5.

    I really like the idea of eliminating preseason OT, seems like a no brainer.

  6. uncletuna says: Mar 19, 2014 3:30 PM

    Too Far for the Extra Point…

    But Guess We Have To Remake The Game In Goodell’s Image…

  7. haterade999 says: Mar 19, 2014 3:30 PM

    This is as bad as Congress.

  8. nygmann says: Mar 19, 2014 3:30 PM

    Can we just leave well enough alone!!!

  9. chiadam says: Mar 19, 2014 3:32 PM

    Just move the kickoff to midfield so someone in the upper deck can catch a ball. What a joke. Just get rid of them already. There will literally never be a return if the kicker is 60 yards from the endzone.

  10. ajgreenhof says: Mar 19, 2014 3:33 PM

    Every single suggestion should be a way to improve the officiating.

  11. robbieboston says: Mar 19, 2014 3:33 PM

    There should be a rule that the pats can just start playing in January. #patshavea20gamepreseason

  12. Steeley McBeam says: Mar 19, 2014 3:33 PM

    Keep moving the kickoff up, and kicking it for no reason, and onside kicks will become the norm. I’d say 20-30 yards of field position is worth the risk of an onside kick if you are automatically give the touchback at the 20 vs. the opposing team recovering the onside kick at their own 45-50.

  13. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 19, 2014 3:33 PM

    I don’t like the rule about sacks, it should be set up to favor the Defense. If you are behind and creating a sack to get the ball back then the clock should freeze, but if you are trying to run the clock out then you can do a cheap play with having the QB run around and waste time and field position in exchange for extra seconds. Forcing the clock to stop if you are trying to take an intentional sack would help.

    And would be very nice to see trades open up before the league year starts to hopefully stimulate more activity between teams and improve flexibility in knowing what needs to target when FA opens up.

  14. deltaoracle says: Mar 19, 2014 3:33 PM

    There’ll be a clock stop and zebra conferance after every play. Should do wonders for the game’s popularity.

  15. isphet71 says: Mar 19, 2014 3:34 PM

    Why not just raise active players on the roster to 49 for every game? They kind of need to.

    I’m surprised that I like a lot of these ideas.

  16. clownsfan says: Mar 19, 2014 3:34 PM

    Nothin wrong w/any of that.

  17. vikingborn70 says: Mar 19, 2014 3:35 PM

    What the…PI within one yard ?! C’mon guys, this is getting ridiculous….

    Need to expand the game day rosters to 60 like college.

  18. joefelicelli says: Mar 19, 2014 3:35 PM

    Kickoffs to the 40 yard line? No way Devin Hester gets his $4M salary if they do that….

    I am most interested in the extra 6 cameras. Not sure there is a way to address the “spot of the ball on short yardage or when there is a pileup, but this helps a lot of plays. Just have to keep Mike Tomlin from blocking the camera when he wanders out on the field.

  19. theclink12 says: Mar 19, 2014 3:35 PM

    Having the kickoff from the 40 is absolutely stupid.

    The touchback will be as automatic as the current PAT is.

    Most other rules I don’t really have any issue with.

  20. JSpicoli says: Mar 19, 2014 3:36 PM

    Carolla is going to be happy with #4.

    Get it on.

  21. mksnpcola says: Mar 19, 2014 3:36 PM

    No overtime for preseason games?! What are we going to do? YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!

  22. flik44 says: Mar 19, 2014 3:41 PM

    So, if you decided to go for two points, then you have to tell the ref? Or, do you go for two from the 25? What if you wanted to fake an extra point?

    Just leave it at the two….

  23. somethingsmellsrotten says: Mar 19, 2014 3:41 PM

    1 & 12 are just idiotic…6 should have happened 10 years ago.

  24. cartire says: Mar 19, 2014 3:41 PM

    Move the kickoff to the 40 yard line? Just eliminate the kickoff already if that’s what you’re gonna do. This is getting ridiculous.

  25. hawkstradamus says: Mar 19, 2014 3:42 PM

    How bout we just stop playing football and simulate the whole thing on madden.

  26. andynormile says: Mar 19, 2014 3:45 PM

    Generally seem quite sensible, but I don’t get :
    5. Make the PAT from the 25 yard line, this makes it a 42 yard field goal, which seems a bit harsh.
    By law 1. Why not make all 53 players eligible for game day. What’s the point in training all week, then being rested on game day.

  27. bigcali4life says: Mar 19, 2014 3:46 PM

    11. Don’t stop the clock on a sack.

    I can see Quarterbacks flopping to stop the clock in the near future.

  28. action31 says: Mar 19, 2014 3:46 PM

    A 42 yrd extra point seems pretty ridiculous

  29. danieljameswhite70 says: Mar 19, 2014 3:47 PM

    Pass interference is the most lethal and important call on the field, Hard to understand why it is not reviewable at this point. When you factor in that it’s a “bang, bang” play which requires a split second decision by the ref with a potential 50-60 yard change in field position. Head scratcher.

  30. floridahawker says: Mar 19, 2014 3:49 PM

    What jokes. The people who run this sport annoy me.

  31. 3ghostninja says: Mar 19, 2014 3:49 PM

    The kickoff from the 40? Really? Almost every kickoff is already getting blasted through the back of the end zone as it is. Are they trying to induce more onside attempts?

    I’d rather see them enforce penalties committed on 2pt conversions, PATs, or Field Goals after the return instead of at the kickoff.

  32. ravenswhat says: Mar 19, 2014 3:49 PM

    So they want 6 hour games. Fantastic.

  33. bigcali4life says: Mar 19, 2014 3:50 PM

    I misread #11. I apologize and now will be on timeout for the rest of the day.

  34. andynormile says: Mar 19, 2014 3:50 PM

    Generally seems quite sensible, but I don’t get moving the PAT to the 25 yard line, that makes it a 42 yard field, which seems harsh.
    Also bye law 1, why not let all 53 players actually play on game day. Seems unfair to practice all week then have to rest on game day.

  35. theclink12 says: Mar 19, 2014 3:51 PM

    If the kickoff is moved to the 40 then there won’t be any kickoff returns. Poor Devin Hester…gonna be hard to get a team to pay him $4 million to take a knee. LOL

  36. dtr3e says: Mar 19, 2014 3:51 PM

    #8 is a bad idea. Defensive players are not gunna have any where to hit an offensive player. Not in the back, side, and keep it above the waste and below the shoulders. And do that at full speed with the other player doing spins and jumping over people. They should just make a rule to eliminate the defense, or turn it into flag football.

  37. jamaltimore says: Mar 19, 2014 3:52 PM

    Instead of Kick-off at 1 teams can now sell the naming rights for the start of the game. Here’s a examples;

    Ravens game start presented by Esskay all beef franks.

    Instead of watching the two teams walk the 20 yard line they can put a huge Esskay HOT DOG picture on the screen. That is after they come back from 4 minutes of other commercials.

    The pass interference rule at 1 yard is crazy.

  38. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Mar 19, 2014 3:52 PM

    #11 seems to exist solely to make more time for commercials or replays.

    #12 is terrible.

  39. Frazier28/7 says: Mar 19, 2014 3:54 PM

    Devin Hester might as well retire if they move kickoff to the 40 yrd line. Kickoffs from the 35 already have changed the game dramaticly.

    Every team now starts a drive from the 20 instead of somewhere between the 20-35 yard line after kickoff. At the end of the year that extra 10-15 yards two or three times a game you need to drive to get a touchdown can add up the between 400-600 yards of offense extra for the season, usually for the quarterback.

  40. ogbobbydeas says: Mar 19, 2014 3:54 PM

    how is any corner going to cover anyone?? Revis Island will be open to Tourists and normal players catching 10 balls on him. Ridiculous to even suggest that 1 yard rule. 5 yards is not even enough

  41. grick84 says: Mar 19, 2014 3:54 PM

    The KO from the 40 sucks, but the other proposals are excellent, esp. the ones involving the rosters. Teams playing on Thurs. always have guys who are dinged up, but would be ok by the following Sunday. Now they can try to play, and if they can’t go, there’s another body on the roster to help out.

  42. dollasnsense says: Mar 19, 2014 3:55 PM

    Devin Hester approves of rule #1

  43. noeffinway says: Mar 19, 2014 3:55 PM

    Why limit teams to 3 correct challenges? I never understood this. Are we to believe that the officials will only make 3 mistakes in a game???

    Make it so you get 2 or 3 challenge flags and you only lose a flag when you LOSE a challenge. Win the challenge, keep the flag.

  44. evilglazers666 says: Mar 19, 2014 3:58 PM

    The bit about the kickoff is pretty odd. Shouldn’t they be moving it back the other way?

  45. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Mar 19, 2014 4:00 PM

    #12 is so terrible that I am forced to point it out again. I can’t get over how terrible it is.

  46. donnymacjack says: Mar 19, 2014 4:01 PM

    Any rules changes that further hurt the defense I am dead set against.

    We’ve done SO much over the last 15 or so years to help the offenses that the league is now well known as a “passing league”.

    It’s taken a long time but we’re just now starting to see teams adjust and become adept at playing tough, hard nosed, and CLEAN (aka safe) hits as evidenced by the 49ers, Panthers, Seahawks and a few other teams. This has truly made the game so much more entertaining.

    Don’t make any further changes to upset this balance. Maybe in 10 or 15 years IF we start to see lots of 10 to 6 final scores, but until then, let ‘em play. The game is awesome the way it is!

  47. thenyolive says: Mar 19, 2014 4:02 PM

    12. Modify pass interference so that it can be called within one yard of the line of scrimmage.

    This is as bad an idea as I can think of. As soon as the db engages the wr’s push off or vice versa, a flag goes flying? That’s a flag every single pass play. And I thought Polian was bad in the early 2000′s. Terrible idea.

  48. rajbais says: Mar 19, 2014 4:03 PM

    Let’s just say there’s a reason why owners find Devin Hester’s alleged $4 million/yr demand absurd.

  49. davetrembley says: Mar 19, 2014 4:04 PM

    Can a team still exercise a fake on the extra point and go for 2? If so, moving the PAT to the 25 yard line hardly seems like a good idea. It actually doesn’t seem like a good idea regardless.

  50. slugbaitspace says: Mar 19, 2014 4:06 PM

    1. This all but guarantees that every possession begins on the 20. Boring.
    2. The possibility a personal foul will be overturned on review will be very low…i.e. high risk coach’s call on a challenge for possible loss of a timeout.
    3. Nobody cares about the win/loss columns during preseason so nobody should care about tie games…agreed.
    4. Goal posts still ain’t tall enough…really?
    5. Two-point conversions will have an extraordinary low chance of success, and extends the possibility for somebody to get injured.
    6. More and more cameras have been added over the years, then they switched to high-def and added more. Still not enough, eh?
    7. What about turnovers? No longer automatically reviewed?
    8. Add “or shoestrings”, or else somebody will feel they got screwed on a non-call.
    9. Longer replay reviews! YaY!
    10. Because ONE play should get everybody thinking about completely reorganizing the rules about replay.
    11. Great…now that 320lb defensive tackle has a reason not to get off the quarterback as quickly as possible late in the 4th quarter anymore.
    12. Bump-and-run ends with the bump at the time of the snap, offense gets advanced one yard and a new set of downs. Tight ends value skyrockets. Brilliant.
    13. Meh

    Bylaw #4 proposal totally sucks. Teams are looking for released players during cut-downs, and players to be cut are trying to make any team. Waiting until final cut for everybody means a very busy and confusing time just before Week 1, with literally zero time for transitioning players to ramp up with their new team.

    Overall…I’m unimpressed.

  51. wnstonchill says: Mar 19, 2014 4:07 PM

    The NFL is becoming much like “big brother”/ the U.S. Gov’t. . Rather than upholding the “constitution” that the game was founded on, Goodell has decided that his executive orders will drive the change that the game needs. Newsflash! The NFL product is the #1 product in SPORTS!! It’s a money making machine. Get your hands out of it !

  52. broncosbrowns says: Mar 19, 2014 4:07 PM

    How about we eliminate kickoffs and put the ball at the 20 as if it was a touchback? Oh wait, we can’t do that since this will cut down the commercial breaks immediately after scores from two to one.

  53. wjarvis says: Mar 19, 2014 4:08 PM

    The current rule that change 11 is addressing, the clock is stopped until the ball is reset following a sack, unless it is within two minutes of the end of a half.

    This is exactly the type of change the NFL should be making, removing rules that apply to specific circumstances. When a player is tackled, the rules dictating timing should be the same throughout the game, regardless of who was tackled and when.

  54. yooperman says: Mar 19, 2014 4:10 PM

    I like the kick off from the 40 idea. Buy me a uniform, a beer, & hot dog per game, and I’ll be a return man for any team except the Cowboys. Then I would want Hester type money.

  55. dkarras84 says: Mar 19, 2014 4:16 PM

    OMG pass interference from one into a play football is about to adopt flopping now to get calls this and the 40 yard kickoff can be removed

  56. specture says: Mar 19, 2014 4:17 PM

    The sole discretion to open the roof at half time would give the home team even more of an advantage. If there’s significant wind in one direction the home team could pick and choose the roof situation to adjust…

  57. mvp43 says: Mar 19, 2014 4:17 PM

    How about that ridiculous pass interference call that can result in 20 & 30 yard penalties (and sometimes more). Make it a straight 15 yarder. Half the time the ref doesn’t even see the entire play anyhow and makes a judgement call.

    Same with pass interference in the end zone- stupid.

  58. thetruthcampaign says: Mar 19, 2014 4:19 PM

    On pass plays, if a defender’s arm is up with hand pronated near receiver’s head and defender is not looking and receiver has at least one foot in the end zone and receiver’s back is facing out of bounds and defender is on his way out of bounds and receiver is in defenders way and the defender’s momentum is perpendicular to the ball’s direction, this has to be some kind of penalty.

  59. yousoldout714 says: Mar 19, 2014 4:21 PM

    Beeeelicheek (remember Cartman’s inspiration to be a math teacher)
    has the loophole figured out/written into the rule on the 43 yd extra point….and he’s already done it….the drop kick

    i race cars and this holds true
    when you can’t beat them….change the rules

  60. number1ninersfan says: Mar 19, 2014 4:28 PM

    Best idea yet; DONT DO ANYTHING!!!!! FOOTBALL IS THE BEST SPORT IN ALL THE LAND!!! IT DOES NOT NEED ANY FIXING!!!!!! LEAVE IT ALOOOOOOOOOOONE!!!!!!!

  61. fballguy says: Mar 19, 2014 4:34 PM

    Moving the kickoff to the 40 with no other ammendment to the kickoff rule is a terrible idea.

    If they move it to the 40, the should also penalize a kicker who booms the ball out of the end zone. In that case, the receiving team should get the ball at the 35 or 40. If the ball bounces or rolls out of the end zone that would be ok and handled like it is today…a touchback to the 20 yard line.

    This would allow for more kickoff returns but fewer high speed collisions. Kickers would be pooching or squibbing the ball. Returns would be slower to develop. There’d be less time to build up bone crushing momentum. And guys like Devin Hester would remain relevant.

  62. roadtrip3500 says: Mar 19, 2014 4:36 PM

    The one they keep missing…

    A personal foul that would be assessed on a kickoff – the yardage should be taken AFTER the return, not where the ball is spotted to be kicked. How are you penalizing a team when the ball is kicked from the 50 (currently, or the opposite 45 if #1 passes) and will 99% of the time be a touchback? Kick it off normally and if it’s a touchback, it’s half the distance to the 10 – if it’s returned, it’s 15 yards or half the distance depending on where the play ends. If the kickoff is returned for a TD, the score is erased and the ball placed at the kicking team’s 15.

  63. nflfan1326 says: Mar 19, 2014 4:36 PM

    Let’s change the most popular sport ever on the planet, shall we. Lions at the Rome Coliseum notwithstanding.

  64. crisper57 says: Mar 19, 2014 4:37 PM

    I like the retractable roof provision. Sometimes the weather is too hot at kickoff early in the season, but then it gets mild later in the afternoon. Right now in AZ, we may get 1 game a year with the roof open.

  65. manbroncopig says: Mar 19, 2014 4:38 PM

    Moving the extra point doesn’t make sense. Not that they’re common, but fakes wouldn’t be possible anymore.

  66. jgedgar70 says: Mar 19, 2014 4:46 PM

    Rule change thoughts:
    1. Do the Panthers get any extra points when Graham Gano kicks the ball through the window of the suite facing the end zone on the 400 level?
    2-4 – I’m fine with these
    5. If you’re increasing the height of the goal posts, this is too much of an adjustment. Make it the 15 yard line.
    6 – 7 – Fine with these.
    8. Should all players have tiny bulls-eyes on their jerseys to represent the tiny area of legal hits?
    9. The NHL has been doing this for years and it hasn’t added much to game length. This is fine.
    10. This should have been in place long ago.
    11. I agree wth the comment that this should always benefit the defense.
    12. Stupidest rule change of all time. Kill it now.
    13. Fine with this one.

    Bylaw proposals:
    1. There should NEVER be inactives, EVER. If they made the 53-man roster, suit them up.
    2-4 – These are fine. #4 will extend Armanti Edwards’ training camp career significantly.
    5-7 – These are fine.

  67. jchipwood says: Mar 19, 2014 4:55 PM

    Why in the H$#/ do they do ot in preseason and why has it taken so long to take out. Im guessing prob because they have wasting their time with other foolish rules.

  68. bigredscouting says: Mar 19, 2014 5:28 PM

    Why even have a kickoff if your going to move the kickoff up another 5? Just start drives at the 20 and be done with it. You already rarely have kickoffs, now you definitely won’t have them. So the kickoff will done fore what purpose?

  69. husketeer says: Mar 20, 2014 1:01 PM

    So a sack stops the clock, does that mean QB kneel downs are eliminated then as it’s a practical sack?

    I’m actually in favour of this as every team should have to play to the final whistle, there’s nothing more demoralizing than having a team kneel down 3 times leading by 1 point with 1:30 left to play, make them run the ball if they want to run the clock, at least the losing team has a chance of recovering a fumble.

    A game is supposed to be played over 60 mins!

    Oh and PI calls absolutely should be challengeable and reviewable, too many mistakes by the officials this last season cost teams games, especially Patriots opponents.

  70. jgel717 says: Mar 20, 2014 1:38 PM

    I’m laughing so hard by some of the comments.

    PI at the one yard line is absolutely horrible. One of my favorite things to watch is the WR vs the CB. This would seriously change the game for me.

    There is absolutely no reason to kick the ball off if it’s going to be at the 40. I wish they would put it back the way it was not destroy it completely.

    The clock should stop if sacked. Like an incomplete pass.

    Some are OK, others are bad. Stop trying to fix what’s not broken. Stop trying to break what’s fixed. I wish the rules were back to what they were in the 90′s.

  71. rationalitybias says: Mar 20, 2014 4:30 PM

    Has everyone forgotten about John Carney’s missed PAT?

  72. bubba2014 says: Mar 20, 2014 11:21 PM

    Go away competition committee! please!

  73. tmnsi1957 says: Mar 20, 2014 11:48 PM

    forget kickoffs….give them the ball at the 20. getting rid of the fans excitement at kickoffs speaks volumes..when the whistle goes for the opening game kickoff..there goes the fan excitment……stupid

  74. donschmidt72 says: Mar 23, 2014 12:25 AM

    Change the rules back to the way it was in the 70′s and 80′s!! Let them play!!!!!!!!! Leave it alone already it gets more watered down each year!!!!!

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