Competition Committee considering two categories of fouls for automatic ejection

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Commissioner Roger Goodell has proposed a rule permitting the ejection of a player who commits a pair of personal fouls in the same game. Given the possibility that a pair of inadvertent facemask fouls could get a player booted early from a given game, this approach will require modification of the fouls that would trigger the two-strike treatment.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Competition Committee currently is looking at two possible categories of fouls that would trigger an ejection for two violations in the same game. The first category would consist of verbal abuse, taunting, and throwing a punch or a kick. The second category would be broader, with hits on defenseless players, impermissible use of the helmet, crown-of-helmet violations, roughing the passer, late hits, striking, kneeing, and kicking.

Last year, at least seven players had two or more personal fouls in the same game. By adopting a rule that would eject a player who commits two of the fouls within the category adopted by the league, the NFL would be hoping to modify behavior and ensuring that emotions will remain under control.

Eventually, the Competition Committee will make a proposal to the owners. If at least 24 agree, the change will be made at the league meetings later this month in Florida.

59 responses to “Competition Committee considering two categories of fouls for automatic ejection

  1. Is there a category for faking a face mask grab? Like the flop rule? Ya know, for Aaron, so he doesn’t cheat again.

  2. The first category is the only one that I wouldn’t mind seeing this happen for. The second only leaves the door open for officials to further change the outcome of the game to whatever end they want it to be. Way to objective.

  3. It sounds good. They really need to go back to the 5 yard facemask and the 15 yard facemask. Touching the facemask shouldn’t be penalized the same as grabbing it and twisting it.

  4. If they are going to go with an automatic ejection for 2 then obviously they need to remove or recategorize certain PF’s. A better solution is simply to create the equivalent of the NHL’s match penalty for an obvious deliberate attempt to injure. Heck, they could make the penalty reviewable by the officials just to ensure it was deliberate. A player trying to injure someone shouldn’t get a second bite at the apple.

    I was going to say we all know a deliberate attempt to injure when we see one but up until a few years ago we all knew a catch when we saw one…

  5. Brutal. Just brutal. Wait until some poor DE grazes a QB’s helmet with his thumbnail and gets tossed. This league is more of a joke by the day. Man I wish the XFL succeeded.

  6. If they are going to do that, the coach should be able to challenge. Many of the officials call what they think happened, not what they saw.

  7. This will encourage an in-game “fall guy”…one who specifically draws the personal foul on the opponent in an effort to get him ejected. A better plan would be to suspend the player for the following game…the current team would have nothing to gain by drawing fouls.

  8. they should have automatic ejection. that way players will learn to behave themselves because of the consequences.

  9. They should eject the coaches as well. Did you see that Steelers/Bengals WC game. First Munchak rips out a player’s hair then Porter goes out on the field taunting Jones.

  10. Verbal abuse? Taunting? Flags, yes. Tossed for it, no.

    Throwing a punch, kick, using the facemask to control a player (Talib), etc. should already mean an ejection regardless of who starts it.

    As for the rest, adopt the NCAA targeting rule and toss the obvious headhunters.

    Late hits can happen due to not hearing a whistle so those should be obvious intent to injure before an ejection comes into play. There is a smart way to do this. I doubt the NFL does it the smart way though

  11. Verbal abuse, you got to be kidding me. The way the NFL is headed, Mark Cuban just might be right that the NFL will be closing up shop in a few years. Fans won’t want to watch a pro sport where a guy gets a 15 yard personal foul penalty because he said something that “hurt a guy’s feelings.” Just what is this political correct country coming to? what’s next, all players get trophies at the end of the season so nobody’s feelings get hurt?

  12. These kinds of rules, like multiple technical fouls or flagrant fouls in basketball and yellow card/red card in soccer are proven to stop dirty play. This will work to prevent plays that intend to injure, like the ridiculous play Talib made in the Super Bowl, fully knowing that it didn’t matter from yards lost perspective.

  13. ” throwing a punch or a kick. ”

    If anything should get you an immediate ejection its that. Especially if its after a play.

    Unfortunately its almost always the 2nd guy that gets caught, not the instigator. That’s probably a good argument to make it 2 infractions in that respect.

  14. Say want you want about Jeff Fisher but I think this is why he stepped off of that committee. Good Lord, QBs will be throwing for 800 yards per game. NFL football is about to collapse under it’s own weight.

  15. Something needs to be added. OBJ and Talib should have been ejected in their games against the Panthers. Those are the two most obvious examples I can think of.

  16. How about we eject officials from the game for bad calls and if an official gets ejected from the game they don’t collect their full game check.

  17. Next step is flag football, now there are times when some personal fouls are blatant, to determine the seriousness it should be reviewed by someone other than the officials.

  18. Give me a thumbs up if you think the NFL should use a soccer style Yellow Card than a Red Card for automatic ejection after two second category hits on defenseless players, impermissible use of the helmet, crown-of-helmet violations, roughing the passer, late hits, striking, kneeing, and kicking.

  19. By these standards, no one involved in that Steelers/Bengals mess would’ve been suspended. Porter, Munchak, Burfict and Adam Jones only had 1 violation each. Shazier wasn’t even penalized for blatantly lowering himself and using the crown of his helmet to knock out Gio Bernard. So what is this rule going to accomplish? Teams can still get away with dirty play as long as they spread the violations out among multiple players (and coaches).

  20. To recap:
    Aqib Talib (who I am a fan of) was flagged for 2 personal fouls in the Super Bowl. One of which was a way over the top helmet yank that Talib bragged about committing on purpose. He was fined, but not suspended despite being suspended earlier in the season for being a “repeat offender” for an earlier offense.

    A month later the same commissioner who opted to barely punish a repeat offender for committing another repeat offense now wants to crack down on the exact same thing he just chose to be lenient on.

    I don’t care which way it goes, but the concept of “precedent” has to eventually mean something to this league or its moron commissioner is going to sink it completely.

  21. What a mess – Kicking and punching is already supposedly auto ejection – You dont get 2 strikes.

    And no one should ever be ejected for verbal taunting.

  22. “Verbal abuse, you got to be kidding me”

    Totally agree.

    Because the next step will be – “#55 defense, 5 yards for glaring and looking in an intimidating way at the opposing QB before the snap”

  23. I just hope the committee recognizes that every time a player does the “first down” signal/celebration, that it is done for the sole purpose of taunting.

  24. “So what is this rule going to accomplish? ”

    It will allow the league to manipulate the outcomes of games that much easier

  25. Somebody gets ejected with two minutes to go, it isn’t much of a penalty. Make it so they are ejected for the rest of the current game and they cannot enter the next game until the same point that they were ejected, and that might get some modification of behavior.

  26. The league has many ego-centric, ‘gang banger ‘ types, who are required by ‘culture’ to show their machismo, to their buddies.

    Fines in the $500K+, will alter the ego, as will a benching, without pay.

  27. Crown of helmet? Have you seen the officials call this correctly? Ever?!
    Verbal abuse? To who, officials, other players??

    I actually thought this was a good idea when it first came up a month ago. Yeah, this isn’t going to play out the way I thought.

  28. Why not do like soccer with yellow cards and red cards? 2 yellows is an ejection, 1 red is ejection. That would give the refs leeway on egregious fouls versus garden variety inadvertent facemasks.

  29. this has already become an ‘all lawyer league’ .
    little by little the emotional componet of the game has been taken away , leaving a shell of a once great game to be poked at.

  30. …….I am so glad I had the privilege to watch pro football in the 60’s, 70’s,80′, 90’s , and early part of this millennium. The game has sunk to new lows at a alarming rate within the last 10-15 years. It started with 2 plays. Brady in the playoff game w/Oakland and the game winning TD called back on Calvin Johnson. That was the beginning of the end………………….

  31. Helmet to Helmet contact would then need to be reviewable for those instances when it’s called and the flagged player didn’t actually make contact with the helmet.

    Also, when in doubt, throw the flag policy would need to be modified as it leads to erroneous flags and will now potentially lead to erroneous ejections.

    The slope is slippery when you over regulate.

  32. I agree with most people who say there are still too many gray areas to accurately enforce. I still think the best way to adjudicate this is to make personal fouls that occur before or after the whistle has blown (e.g. late hit, taunting, fighting, kicking etc…) should be ejected after 2 infractions. Personal fouls that occur between the whistles are too hard on the spot to determine intent and therefore should be excluded even though people will argue that late hits to the qb or head shots should be included. It is too fast a game to make the determination of intent in a split second therefore the ONLY way a ref can get it right 100% of the time is to use the whistle as the determining factor. If it happens after the whistle, the intent is clear, before the whistle, you open up a can of worms about whether or not it should now be included in instant replay which is not practical. Here we go, another rule the refs can use at their discretion to target players they don’t like.

  33. I’m sorry, but the way this is written is appalling. With the complexity of the NFL rules, you are talking about adding a new layer of “Personal Foul”.

    Keep it simple: Add a “Technical Foul”. Make it 15 yards and an automatic first down. Two Technical Fouls = ejection.

    Also keep the Technical foul to fighting, punching, and flagrant (willful intent to injure) fouls.

    But “taunting”??? No effin way! That puts the ability of the players to PLAY in the completely subjective hands of the officials.

  34. I like it. It’s just like auto safety. You’re still going to have fatal accidents, but they keep improving brakes, tires, air bags, seat belts, bumpers, etc. It hasn’t saved every life, but it’s saved thousands. Keep trying guys.

  35. “Taunting” and using bad words? You’ve got to be kidding me.

    Go watch the tape of Clay Matthews hit to the jaw of Russell Wilson in the 2014 NFCCG. That’s a hit that should get you ejected. Deliberate hits with an intent to injure are what can’t be tolerated.

  36. How is this going to make the refs actually eject someone? They have shown themselves to be so severely allergic to ejections that even the most egregious ones that everyone agrees on don’t get ejected.

  37. The league is run by a man who doesn’t understand football representing owners who are oblivous to the game. This group is incapable of making an effective rule.

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