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NFL owners will vote on moving kickoffs to the 40

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Three years after the NFL moved kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35, it may be time to move kickoffs five yards forward again.

The Competition Committee announced today that owners will vote at next week’s league meeting on whether to move kickoffs again, this time to the 40-yard line.

According to the Competition Committee, this is a rule proposal designed to take player safety into consideration: Moving the kickoff will result in more touchbacks, fewer returns and therefore fewer collisions. The NFL in recent years has identified kickoffs as some of the most dangerous plays in the game of football.

The rule would also be viewed by many as a step toward de-emphasizing special teams. (Washington, which was terrible on special teams last year, was the team that proposed the rule change.) Eventually, if the NFL keeps moving kickoffs forward, it will make touchbacks so easy that it might as well just eliminate kickoffs entirely.

It’s not clear how much support the proposal has, but if 24 of the 32 owners are in favor of it, the rule will pass. And we’ll see a lot fewer kickoff returns next year.

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91 Responses to “NFL owners will vote on moving kickoffs to the 40”
  1. johndank says: Mar 19, 2014 5:44 PM


  2. bbjohn171 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:44 PM

    RIP Football.

  3. jbl429 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:44 PM


  4. elwaysagenius says: Mar 19, 2014 5:44 PM

    If this goes through the team should take the ball at the 25 after a touchback.

  5. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 19, 2014 5:46 PM

    The teams that vote against this should do squib kicks and crank up the contact. You only have 1 vote on the issue, but you can have 11 votes on appeal!

  6. ultrawolf123 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:46 PM

    When do the players and Fans votes get tallied.

  7. jwcarlson says: Mar 19, 2014 5:47 PM

    Why even kick off then?

  8. wlai420 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:48 PM

    Just remove kickoffs altogether and get it over with

  9. cjjones5656 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:48 PM

    If this happens its a good rule change, that way people in the end zone upper deck seats can have a chance of taking home a game used football souvenir!

  10. skinsrock says: Mar 19, 2014 5:48 PM

    Why?? Special teams & kick off returns are some of the most exciting plays in football. They have already made changes in player safety with the wedge rules, etc.

  11. saintsstillwillwin says: Mar 19, 2014 5:48 PM

    Hester can definitely forget getting anything close to 4 mill a year if this happens.

  12. raiders4lyfe17 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:48 PM

    Well Goodell just keep ruining the game

  13. redandgoldhitman52 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:49 PM

    just eliminate kicks altogether. no more kickoffs, punts , fg, xtra points.

  14. cajunaise says: Mar 19, 2014 5:49 PM

    Still want $4M, Devin Hester?

  15. jimmysee says: Mar 19, 2014 5:50 PM

    If punters can pooch — so can kickers on kick-offs.

    Moving the kick forward will not necessarily mean more touchbacks.

    Unless the kicking team wants it.

  16. anicra says: Mar 19, 2014 5:51 PM

    Insanity continues. They could just move the return team 5 yards closer to the kicking team and lower the risks.

  17. mpayne12 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:51 PM

    At this point you might as well just eliminate it all together. Since they moved it from the 30 to the 35 its extremely rare that a team gets a decent return. I get the whole player safety thing, but it’s really starting to hurt the integrity of the game. They don’t have these types of rules in boxing. Players accept the risk.

  18. kylexitron says: Mar 19, 2014 5:51 PM

    This is just getting stupid.

  19. southstands1 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:51 PM

    The Giants will lose all the value Holliday brings to their team if this happens.

    Holliday is a dynamic KR, but is too unreliable as a PR with his fumbles.

  20. redfield11 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:52 PM

    Moving it to the 40 will CREATE more collisions. Do punters close to the end zone hit it for hang time or power? Why would kickoffs be any different, you won’t get more touchbacks you’ll just get more injuries and worse field position for offenses.

  21. paul82461 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:53 PM

    Just start at the 20 yard line, and why your at it how about no one can get within a yard of each other at anytime.

  22. daysend564 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:54 PM

    Just get rid of it. I guess since there won’t be any more extra points, the owners have to give kickers a different stat to pad.

    Fantasy points: + 1 touchback

  23. packfanaj12 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:54 PM

    I own Packers stock. Thus I am part of a owner.

    I vote: NO

  24. ✦ Pittsburgh is the City of Champions ✦ says: Mar 19, 2014 5:54 PM


  25. patswillreign says: Mar 19, 2014 5:54 PM

    They want to eliminate the possibility of Percy Harvin returning a kickoff for a TD in the Super Bowl and putting the game out of reach for Peyton

  26. andynormile says: Mar 19, 2014 5:55 PM

    More onside kick attempts ??

  27. stash918 says: Mar 19, 2014 5:56 PM

    The kickers can already kick it through the uprights and often into the stands from the 35. This rule would be mockery of the game even for the modern day NFL.

  28. waynexbond says: Mar 19, 2014 5:56 PM

    Remember how boring and dangerous it was when Percy ran the kick back in the Super Bowl? Let’s get rid of that!

  29. goldbloodedindfw says: Mar 19, 2014 5:58 PM

    If they want more touchbacks to make the game safer why not just get rid of kickoffs? This is ridiculous.

  30. azjam says: Mar 19, 2014 6:00 PM

    Stupid, taking the enjoyment out of the game.

  31. marcinhouston says: Mar 19, 2014 6:01 PM

    Pretty soon Trindon Holliday may convert from kickoff return specialist to kickoff specialist.

  32. palatypus says: Mar 19, 2014 6:01 PM

    No !!!

  33. ballerstatus2014 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:02 PM

    Might as well scrap the kickoff since no one will be able to return them.

  34. redandgoldhitman52 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:03 PM

    instead of kicking from the 40 why not just give the ball to the offense at the 40.

  35. sdsmooth says: Mar 19, 2014 6:04 PM

    The best football is now played on Saturdays.

    Bye bye NFL. I’m about done now.

  36. taosravenfan says: Mar 19, 2014 6:04 PM

    Eliminate one of the most exciting plats in football. No more 100 yd returns. Stupid.

  37. rushbacker says: Mar 19, 2014 6:04 PM

    Perhaps a member of the kicking team should just walk down and politely hand the ball over? That would be safest for all concerned.

  38. ariani1985 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:06 PM

    Why not just eliminate football?

  39. hunter300win says: Mar 19, 2014 6:06 PM

    Poor Devin Hester……forced out of the game! Id file a suit

  40. urbusted2 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:07 PM

    Bad idea so it will pass.

  41. pillowporkers says: Mar 19, 2014 6:11 PM

    I propose moving the kickoff back to the 30.

  42. getadealdonealready says: Mar 19, 2014 6:12 PM

    Move it to the 40, and teams get the extra point if they kick it through the upright on the kick off, that will make up for taking away the extra point after T.

    Now they have to choose 1 point or kick it high and look for field position.

  43. bobbyhoying says: Mar 19, 2014 6:13 PM

    Would this make Devon Hester worthless to any team?

  44. spittabeatz says: Mar 19, 2014 6:13 PM

    So extra points are too easy and its a waste of a play..but then they are making kickoffs a waste of a play…just eliminate it and take the ball at the 20 then..or will they still do the kickoffs so they get those extra commercials in

  45. steves11 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:15 PM

    Just get rid of the kickoff entirely. Let the receiving team start from the 20. If they move it up any further a touchback will be as automatic as the extra point.

  46. ovaw8lova says: Mar 19, 2014 6:15 PM

    And this is why Devin Hester is not going to get 5M/year.

  47. stevenray72 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:18 PM

    Fans will not recognize this game in 5 years

  48. thealmightybigblue says: Mar 19, 2014 6:20 PM

    Hell no.

  49. bennyb82 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:27 PM

    Hester should actually feel blessed that he is on his way out rather than on his way in to the league.

  50. djstat says: Mar 19, 2014 6:31 PM

    This is insane. Players will get hurt. Deal with it.

  51. jacobk621 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:38 PM

    Really ???

  52. reborninchrist7 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:39 PM

    Kickers can now save their legs for all those extra points. Oh, wait. That’s right. Their trying to do away with all those too. Oh, well.

  53. phinfan says: Mar 19, 2014 6:40 PM

    NFL FANS VOTE…. Owners should lower ticket prices by 1/3’rd. And NFL Execs should stop changing rules.

  54. schmitty2 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:41 PM

    The league wont be happy until field goals are farther then kickoffs.

  55. jay0134 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:43 PM

    Why don’t we just simulate the games on Madden, that way nobody gets hurt….

  56. tsi431 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:48 PM

    Just increase the roster by 2 and if injuries occur, so be it, you can have two return specialists.

  57. hawkfan72 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:49 PM

    While kickoffs may be the most dangerous plays, they also are some of the most exciting plays. When a player breaks off a long return, it’s game changing. Take that away and a lot of the fun in football is lost.

  58. ratsfoiledagain says: Mar 19, 2014 6:52 PM

    If they do this, the competition committee just created a position that many fans can perform.

    I’ll take any kick off and down it on the spot. I’ll take the league minimum rookie pay.

    No team needs to sign Hester now. Where’s my contract?

  59. devynmac504 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:52 PM

    Just imagine how the next Madden will be smh

  60. kev86 says: Mar 19, 2014 6:54 PM


  61. hawkstradamus says: Mar 19, 2014 7:00 PM

    When I was a kid we played tackle football at recess. Then the recess lady said she’d take away the football if we didn’t play touch football because tackle was too dangerous. That recess lady’s name, roger goodell. True story

  62. chiefpontiac57 says: Mar 19, 2014 7:04 PM

    just plain dumb….

  63. ejm845 says: Mar 19, 2014 7:22 PM

    I guess they can reduce rosters to 44 no need need for special team players

  64. brianguy49er says: Mar 19, 2014 7:27 PM

    After a TD if the defense gets called for 15 yard penalty enforced on kickoff that puts it at opp 45 yard line. Might as well onside kick it at that point

  65. bigbabies says: Mar 19, 2014 7:29 PM

    Just make the entire game computer simulated and have the players act out the results of each play.

  66. fincelticsredsoxfan says: Mar 19, 2014 7:49 PM

    Might as well just take kickoffs away then, the nfl isn’t becoming safer it’s becoming softer

  67. mebkyle6 says: Mar 19, 2014 7:52 PM

    So when Scobee kicks it through the uprights on every kickoff does the Jags get 3 pts?

  68. catchhester23 says: Mar 19, 2014 7:55 PM

    Should add a rule that puts the ball on the 40 for every kick that goes out the back of the end zone. (Un-catchable) if it rolls out you put it on the 20. Out of bounds is out of bounds why does it stop at the pylons? If that is the case the returner should be able to go out and get it if they choose too.

  69. bizieman says: Mar 19, 2014 8:01 PM

    If you recover a onside, you will already be in field goal range.

  70. fubarry says: Mar 19, 2014 8:02 PM

    Killing football as we know it.

  71. rho1953 says: Mar 19, 2014 8:04 PM

    It will surely result in more onside kicks. What is the injury rate for those?

  72. smarterfootball says: Mar 19, 2014 8:05 PM

    This makes onside kicks 5 yards less risky.

  73. dbara43 says: Mar 19, 2014 8:24 PM

    Just call this The Percy Harvin Rule

  74. 49erlifer says: Mar 19, 2014 8:25 PM

    Should of did it 2 years ago, niners wouldnt of had to worry about jacoby or i think it was baldwin in the nfc championship last year running one back! Hell we would have 2 more rings probally, aww who am i kidding denver would of got stomped.

  75. rrthomasxyz says: Mar 19, 2014 8:29 PM

    Any analytic studies to prove that injuries would be reduced from the historic norm by moving the kickoffs to the 40……I didn’t think so.

  76. wvucolumbus says: Mar 19, 2014 8:31 PM

    The NFL jumped the shark about 3-5 years ago. It will NEVER reach the level of appeal that it had in the late 2000s. I still love the game but I also accept this fact.

  77. bluestar94 says: Mar 19, 2014 8:31 PM

    Goodbye football. It was good knowin’ ya.

  78. camdenyard says: Mar 19, 2014 8:41 PM

    Jacoby is against it. By the way, pictured is one of my favorite plays of all time.

  79. burndownhottopic says: Mar 19, 2014 8:51 PM

    They took Cundiff out of the game in 2011 after he set the TB record in 2010, and now they’re going to take Jacoby Jones out of the game. Can’t win for losin.

  80. imnotsorryisaidthat says: Mar 19, 2014 9:04 PM


  81. secretbonus1 says: Mar 19, 2014 9:55 PM

    I’d like a rule proposal where they can’t change more than one rule a year and where the proposed change only happens 5 years from now…
    That way it prevents teams from voting in rules favorable to their team strengths/weaknesses.

  82. packy305 says: Mar 19, 2014 9:57 PM

    Hell give them 4 points if it goes through the uprights.

  83. mylionsroaring says: Mar 19, 2014 10:15 PM

    No rule should be changed without at least 50% fan approval

  84. stevequinn says: Mar 19, 2014 11:13 PM

    They keep screwing with the game. Pretty soon it will be flag football.

  85. johninthewest says: Mar 19, 2014 11:34 PM

    Kickers need to kick with their less dominant foot. That would be interesting!

  86. mikesvikes says: Mar 20, 2014 6:02 AM

    They dont want to get rid of it because of the onside kick. It would totally change the game. Just leave it alone!

  87. t8ertot says: Mar 20, 2014 8:56 AM

    Why bother having a kickoff? Just give the ball to the team at the 20 and call it a day

  88. rainsarge says: Mar 20, 2014 9:30 AM

    Why no get 100 player safety and just have flags?

  89. azbearsfan says: Mar 20, 2014 8:09 PM

    Eliminate the penalty for the kick going out of bounds, leave the ball at the 35, and there will never be a kickoff return again. It’ll be a coffin… kick.

  90. nineball26 says: Mar 20, 2014 9:46 PM

    does the return man wear a skirt or do they even bother with putting one on the field?

    someone needs to make sure goodell has had his yearly, pretty sure thats dementia er whatever, is she taking her pills?


  91. bubba2014 says: Mar 20, 2014 11:13 PM

    Don’t even bother kicking off if its moved forward again. Totally stupid waste of time. Oh I forgot you need it to fit in 8 more commercials. Competition Committee is ruining the game every year

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