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Roughly half the league was opposed to “yellow card” rule

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The NFL’s proposal for tying ejections to a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct officially has been tabled. Unofficially, there’s a good chance it’s dead.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a show of hands during Tuesday’s meetings made it clear that roughly half the teams are opposed to the plan. With 24 votes necessary to transform a proposal into a rule, that resulted in the matter being put on the back burner. Still, the more accurate description is that it flat-out failed.

It could still return, given that it’s a pet project of Commissioner Roger Goodell. As the source explained it, the intentions are good, but the rule could create plenty of unintended consequences.

The basketball example that often is mentioned in support of the rule, with players having a certain number of fouls to give before being sent off, could make football players view their situation the same way, making the specter of being ejected more nonchalant and less serious than it currently is. Also, there’s a concern that teams will bait an opposing player who picks up an early unsportsmanlike-conduct foul, in the hopes of getting him to be flagged again — and in turn to be taken off the field.

The proposal therefore may need some work before enough teams will agree to it. Regardless, getting a rule of this kind adopted will take much greater effort and persuasion than previously believed.

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49 Responses to “Roughly half the league was opposed to “yellow card” rule”
  1. steelpenguin6687 says: Mar 22, 2016 7:18 PM

    I, for one am glad it is, for all intents and purposes, a dead issue. Too many subjective calls, this “ejection rule” would have been nothing but a nightmare.

  2. xilikemenx says: Mar 22, 2016 7:18 PM

    Wow, this was a “pet project” of Goodell and the owners shot him down?? How can this be? Everybody knows Goodell runs the league and that is why we hate him, yes?

  3. rushbacker says: Mar 22, 2016 7:18 PM

    Sounds like Goodell should be commissioner of a soccer league. That would probably be best for everyone.

  4. mrfrostyj says: Mar 22, 2016 7:21 PM

    Let’s be real. If this passes the Bengals win another game in the NFL since most of the team would be ejected by halftime.

    I’m not a Bengals fan but that’s just cruel.

  5. cowboy2016 says: Mar 22, 2016 7:25 PM

    Just another horrible idea straight from Goodell’s globalist agenda. Trying to internationalize the NFL at the speed of light. Yellow cards….London….Mexico City….China. It never ends. He is taking the game away from America slowly but surely.

  6. 6ball says: Mar 22, 2016 7:27 PM

    The NHL has 4 penalties :

    A. Two minute minor penalty
    B. Five minute major penalty
    C. Ten minute misconduct
    D. Game misconduct

    By the time a referee ejects a player with a game misconduct, there’s very little discussion about it. It’s very rarely undeserved.

  7. theheyseed says: Mar 22, 2016 7:27 PM

    Why do you hate soccer leagues?

  8. steelpenguin6687 says: Mar 22, 2016 7:28 PM

    Next year, this is how the game would have been played if this rule had passed…lol

    Excuse me, fine sir, will you please fall down now? You see, I do not want to knock you down, as I will surely get a penalty that will result in my ejection from this grand game…oh, I see you do not want to fall down…Well, be on your way then….!

  9. heyguru69 says: Mar 22, 2016 7:30 PM

    rushbacker says:
    Mar 22, 2016 7:18 PM

    Sounds like Goodell should be commissioner of a soccer league. That would probably be best for everyone.

    DUDE! Why in the world would you wish that on the good people of the world who enjoy soccer?

  10. theheyseed says: Mar 22, 2016 7:30 PM

    Fire Goodell, if the refs called the game properly this kind of goofy rule would not be needed. Adding another judgment call to the rule book is the last thing the NFL needs.

  11. zigthepatsfan says: Mar 22, 2016 7:34 PM

    I’m sure the officials are happy about this. They dont wan’t to have to eject players

  12. brawnyhombre says: Mar 22, 2016 7:36 PM

    “Also, there’s a concern that teams will bait an opposing player who picks up an early unsportsmanlike-conduct foul, in the hopes of getting him to be flagged again — and in turn to be taken off the field.”

    Hey, leave Joey Porter out of this!

  13. redstar504 says: Mar 22, 2016 7:37 PM

    As a fan I am glad it didn’t pass let the refs decide don’t make it automatic what if a guy gets 2 of the old 5 yard variety face mask calls vs. a guy getting PF’s twice for fighting or taking 2 flagrant cheep shots at a defenseless player. PF’s aren’t all even. Sometimes a guy gets a PF because by rule he gets one like getting nocked into a QB’s knees that’s not the same as the guy that hits s QB 2 seconds late and drives them in the turf. All PF’s are not equal.

    The NBA gets it right they have fouls and they have flagrant fouls. The refs know the difference.

  14. voddyt says: Mar 22, 2016 7:40 PM

    Another great idea from Rog and his minions Friday pizza party brainstorming sessions shot down. So sad.

  15. YouCryin?PatsMustBeDoingTheirJob says: Mar 22, 2016 7:42 PM

    That would lead to flopping.

  16. painsyndicate says: Mar 22, 2016 7:44 PM

    Or maybe the owners know the true nature of the majority of their players.

  17. intrafinesse says: Mar 22, 2016 7:45 PM

    Too bad.
    I’d love seeing refs tossing players.
    My team sucks and this would give my team a chance to win.
    Toss the opponents good players and make the outcome random.

    On second thought – that would really suck, wouldn’t it.
    But it would be funny if the ejected Tom Brady.
    Cost the Pats 2 games, and not get a good playoff seed.

  18. ebdug says: Mar 22, 2016 7:45 PM

    A decision grounded in reason? Who are you people and what did you do with the real owners?

  19. intrafinesse says: Mar 22, 2016 7:57 PM

    To prevent taunting, the league should prevent physical contact, make it a finesse league. Flag football would reduce concussions and torn ACLs as well.
    Eject players if they utter a single word.
    Put dresses on them too.

  20. corky2141 says: Mar 22, 2016 7:58 PM

    Since this rule was proposed & the refs have been told to be more aggressive with ejections & unsportsmanlike conduct calls, Goddell is probably smiling thinking that even though his rule didn’t pass, bad behavior is now in the forefront. I am guessing, much like the illegal contact calls being more of a focus a few years ago, that we will see more ejections this year than we have seen in years past. Then the players will slowly back off, and the aggressiveness & intensity will go down, leading to more scoring & more smiling by Rog.

  21. j0esixpack says: Mar 22, 2016 8:07 PM

    It’s a Goodell idea – and one that grants him more power

    Even the owners that pull his puppet strings know it was a bad idea even for him to ask for the power

    Goodell has become the Kim Jong-Un of sports Commissioners.

    Heck – Goodell would probably have Exponent and Ted Wells conduct an independent study for another $5 million that says the Commissioner neither poops nor pees!

  22. ajigel says: Mar 22, 2016 8:12 PM

    On its face I like the idea carding and ejecting guys, I don’t have any faith in the referees.

    Some personal foul calls are obvious, but there have been way to many inconsistencies from play to play in terms of what’s called. This would just give the officials a bigger chance to completely screw a game up and have a bigger impact on the outcome.

  23. evilmajortom says: Mar 22, 2016 8:14 PM

    The owners must have decided that there are better ways to rig outcomes.

  24. justintuckrule says: Mar 22, 2016 8:20 PM

    How many yellow cards does Goodell have to get botching investigations before he is sent packing? 12?

  25. 6thsense10 says: Mar 22, 2016 8:23 PM

    I kind of like the penalty box approach. If a foul is egregious enough then the player is held out of the game for 10 game time minutes on offense or defense depending on his position. To tell you the truth this is entirely pr bs that came about due to the Giants Panthers game. The vast majority of games and players play in control…..but as soon as Goodell sees something that he believes puts the NFL in a negative light he reacts with little study or input from others.

  26. burfictisabeast says: Mar 22, 2016 8:30 PM


  27. jtwp61 says: Mar 22, 2016 8:43 PM

    Cordarelle Patterson is relieved to hear that he can continue taunting kickers after a rare return past the 20.

  28. zigthepatsfan says: Mar 22, 2016 9:05 PM

    6thsense10 says:
    Mar 22, 2016 8:23 PM
    I kind of like the penalty box approach. If a foul is egregious enough then the player is held out of the game for 10 game time minutes on offense or defense depending on his position.

    yeah that’s my thought too. You get “out of control” go cool off on the bench for a few. But I’d like to see the coaches take that upon themselves. Which they probably would if ejections are going to be more common (which I don’t agree with, but it’s probably coming)

  29. agent7g says: Mar 22, 2016 9:07 PM

    The reason this rule was shot down is easy to figure out: you can’t control the outcome of the game if the refs control who is playing the game.

  30. fedegene says: Mar 22, 2016 9:32 PM

    Why don’t they rather think of a targeting penalty like in college, given the dirty, dangerous cheap shots that we have seen way too often last year?

  31. intelligent cement says: Mar 22, 2016 9:38 PM


    Like many others, I get tired of the idiotic statements made between Packers and Viking fans – but, dude – that was funny.

  32. vikinganswer says: Mar 22, 2016 9:45 PM

    You jtwp. He is only at or near the top every year for kick returns.

  33. vikinganswer says: Mar 22, 2016 9:45 PM

    Why not? Even High School has this rule. And it works. Tell a player the 2nd one and he is out, he tones it down and plays the right way. Cant believe it wasn’t a rule before.

  34. vikinganswer says: Mar 22, 2016 9:46 PM

    Been saying for past 5+ years they need a penalty box to stop all the pushing after free kicks. Send them off for a quarter of quiet time.

  35. sportnik2 says: Mar 22, 2016 9:59 PM

    Goodell has lost control of the league. Framegate has exposed him to be a incompetent empty suit who won’t stand up to Jerry Jones & Jim Irsay.

    It seems that there is hope that the league will come to its senses and get rid of Goodell before he makes Mark Cuban a prophet.

  36. sdspec says: Mar 22, 2016 9:59 PM

    There was only one team that wanted to move the goal posts 50 feet to the left.

  37. chargerdillon says: Mar 22, 2016 10:04 PM

    Let’s be real here…..THEY HAVE RULES IN PLACE. If players are willing to break the rules then the rules themselves are not strict enough.

    Go back to Norman and Beckham. That game got out of hand BECAUSE OF REFEREES.

    Both players could and probably should have been ejected.

    All this rule does is hold referees accountable to actually do their job when they can’t be considered competent to do so.

    Goodell didn’t come up with this rule because he wants the NFL less violent, he created the idea because referees are too afraid to do their damn job in the first place.

    How many times have teams won by testing the limits of just how much the refs will enforce (Seahawks, respectfully I’m looking at you here).

    As much as I hate Roger Goodell like anybody else, this is a rule to police the Zebras and not the barbarians

  38. gottaplan says: Mar 22, 2016 10:05 PM

    That means roughly half the league was in favor of it.

  39. zibet says: Mar 22, 2016 10:07 PM

    Everyone knows that the only reason to eject someone is if they “malice in their heart”

  40. asparatame says: Mar 22, 2016 10:36 PM

    It would never be called consistently, why is this even being talked about?

    Some stat guy will break down which crews are more likely to call the second flag and which aren’t.

    Unless everyone needs more to complain about on message boards.

  41. skinsdiehard says: Mar 22, 2016 11:15 PM

    I wish the proposal had passed. Nonetheless, refs can still eject players based on their judgement. So, it’s not really a dead issue.

  42. xx4zu1 says: Mar 22, 2016 11:30 PM

    Glad it was tabled. In a game where 1 or 2 players can easily turn the whole game around you would surely see coaches sacrificing 2 second or third stringers to take out a top player. It would be real easy to get most teams top receiver tossed without even loosing a corner.

  43. djvh2 says: Mar 22, 2016 11:42 PM

    Please – no soccer rules. It’s bad enough with the changes being made every year, but please don’t make it at all like soccer.

    Here are a few ideas to reduce injuries:
    1) On defense all players must line up within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage (idea stolen from Vic Ketchum on Packers site). That way they aren’t running full speed ahead when they hit someone, and many times would be chasing instead.
    2) Go back to leather helmets so the helmet isn’t used as a weapon.
    3) No good solutions for kickoffs except no running start on coverage…maybe 7 on 7 or weight restrictions for kickoffs? Probably not, but it is the most exciting play when they break one, so they need to find a way to keep it.

  44. thetooloftools says: Mar 23, 2016 12:23 AM

    Yea.. with so many DIVAS in the game today and many more on the way, why throw them out of games?
    Just let them stay in there and make idiots out of themselves and the NFL.
    This pro sport is going to hell fast.

  45. conormacleod says: Mar 23, 2016 8:36 AM

    How many times last year did a player get two unsportsmanlike calls in a game? We aren’t talking a horse collar plus a face mask here. Two unsportsmanlike conduct calls should be an ejection.

  46. knockknockwhosthereowen says: Mar 23, 2016 9:08 AM

    Should have been proposed as 3 and out. On a side note, was obvious both ODB and Josh Norman should have been ejected in that game.

  47. clevelandrocksyourface says: Mar 23, 2016 9:22 AM

    Dear Roger,



  48. NFL Sage says: Mar 23, 2016 9:59 AM

    The refs need to *do their job* and eject players that are out of control. Anything automatic screws up more than it fixes. The rule wouldn’t even have applied to ODB and Norma – nuff said.

  49. rcali says: Mar 23, 2016 11:34 AM

    ! Anybody want to bet it turns to a “hot pink” card during October and then the NFL sells them at team stores?

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