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NFL owners vote down five-yard bonus for kickoff through uprights

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The NFL wants more touchbacks, but has voted down a rule that would incentivize them.

The league today voted against a proposal that would give the kickoff team a five-yard bonus on touchbacks that go through the uprights, putting those touchbacks at the receiving team’s 20-yard line instead of the 25.

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the proposal got 11 votes. It needed 24 votes, or support from three-fourths of the teams, to pass.

The NFL has made clear that it’s concerned about injuries on kickoff returns and wants to cut down on them. The five-yard bonus rule would do just that, as it would incentivize teams to kick deep into the end zone for a touchback, rather than kick short and try to pin opponents inside the 20. So it’s logically inconsistent for the owners to vote the rule down.

But logical inconsistencies haven’t stopped the NFL before, and it hasn’t this time, either. There will be no benefits to touchbacks through the uprights, much to the disappointment of teams that have kickers with a big leg.

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23 Responses to “NFL owners vote down five-yard bonus for kickoff through uprights”
  1. redlikethepig says: Mar 28, 2017 2:33 PM

    It’s not inconsistent to vote down a goofy rule.

  2. butzmark says: Mar 28, 2017 2:35 PM

    Leave this alone until they chip the ball or have a robot that determines whether the ball was between the uprights. Close ones are too hard to call.

  3. Della Street says: Mar 28, 2017 2:35 PM

    I can’t believe 11 owners voted for this XFL-type rule.

  4. aimpai says: Mar 28, 2017 2:37 PM

    So 11 teams thought they had a kicker that could kick it regularly through the uprights. End of story.

  5. jag1959 says: Mar 28, 2017 2:38 PM

    The NFL not squeezing out every conceivable dollar would be the only inconsistency that would ever trouble an owner

  6. TheDPR says: Mar 28, 2017 2:39 PM

    We could probably guess the 11 yes votes based on their kickers, but does anybody know for real who voted yes? I think it’s a nifty idea, though a bit gimmicky.

  7. pastabelly says: Mar 28, 2017 2:41 PM

    That rule would result in crazy plays. If a team is down by 8 points and drives for touchdown and then converts a 2-point play with 3 seconds on the clock, it could win the game on a kick off. That’s insane.

  8. oldtrix says: Mar 28, 2017 2:42 PM

    Doesn’t the kicking team get awarded a point if they manage to do this in the CFL? Seems a no-brainer.

  9. The Phantom Stranger says: Mar 28, 2017 2:44 PM

    It’s not logically inconsistent because it’s a stupid rule. If they want to cut down on kick returns, they should eliminate the kickoff. Short of that, any other half-measure would be logically inconsistent.

  10. citizenstrange says: Mar 28, 2017 2:53 PM

    We have some rules similar to this in my backyard Wiffle Ball league.

  11. jag1959 says: Mar 28, 2017 2:54 PM

    pastabelly says:
    Mar 28, 2017 2:41 PM
    That rule would result in crazy plays. If a team is down by 8 points and drives for touchdown and then converts a 2-point play with 3 seconds on the clock, it could win the game on a kick off. That’s insane.
    ____________________

    Look at the proposal again. In your scenario no points would have been awarded, the ball would simply be spotted at the 20 instead of the 25 with 3 seconds on the clock.

  12. steves11 says: Mar 28, 2017 3:07 PM

    “Leave this alone until they chip the ball or have a robot that determines whether the ball was between the uprights. Close ones are too hard to call”

    They can always let the coach throw the challenge flag and have a replay delay while the refs sort it out. Just what we need, huh?

  13. grumpysal says: Mar 28, 2017 3:27 PM

    So, the owners are all for player safety when it comes to jumping over a lineman to block a kick, but when it comes to the kickoffs, it’s the Old West, nothing needs to be changed, let them run 50+ yards at full speed into each other, what could possibly go wrong attitude?

    I’m not saying that they should change the kickoffs, i just think they’re a bit inconsistent on how player safety is measured.

  14. drednot says: Mar 28, 2017 3:30 PM

    Novel idea really, but I believe the problem is weather. Also the teams in a dome would have an unfair advantage. This is what I believe the other 21 owners were thinking.

  15. TheDPR says: Mar 28, 2017 3:49 PM

    “they’re a bit inconsistent on how player safety is measured.”

    Their decisions are inconsistent because they don’t seem to measure it at all. Not once have I seen any data accompany a safety proposal in this league. Even on issues where they claim to have data (air pressure in footballs, for example) they don’t release it, but on safety proposals they don’t even pretend they’ve done research.

  16. pastabelly says: Mar 28, 2017 4:34 PM

    jag1959 says:
    Mar 28, 2017 2:54 PM
    pastabelly says:
    Mar 28, 2017 2:41 PM
    That rule would result in crazy plays. If a team is down by 8 points and drives for touchdown and then converts a 2-point play with 3 seconds on the clock, it could win the game on a kick off. That’s insane.
    ____________________

    Look at the proposal again. In your scenario no points would have been awarded, the ball would simply be spotted at the 20 instead of the 25 with 3 seconds on the clock.
    =======================================
    okay, at one point a team wanted a point for all kicks going through the uprights on a kickoff. i forgot that proposal had been gutted.

    in any case, kicking a ball through the uprights on a kickoff was never anything special and there’s no reason to start now.

  17. jchemengr says: Mar 28, 2017 5:18 PM

    They are trying to preserve the on side kick while getting rid of the kickoff return. Pretty simple. Any kickoff that travels more than say 30 yards is a dead ball placed at the 20. All other kicks belong to the recovering team at the spot of the recovery.

  18. jchemengr says: Mar 28, 2017 5:21 PM

    If you want to preserve the onside kick while getting rid of the kickoff return you declare any kick that travels more than say 30 yards past the original line of scrimmage a dead ball and place it at the 20, 25 whatever.

    Only kicks that travel between 10 and 30 yards would be in play, and the ball would be awarded to the recovering team at the point of the recovery.

  19. jchemengr says: Mar 28, 2017 5:22 PM

    Sorry, I thought I somehow deleted the first comment.

  20. connfyoozed says: Mar 28, 2017 5:52 PM

    How about 1 point if the kicker calls which upright he will hit with the kickoff and then hits it?

    5 points if the kickoff sails into the stand and hits any fan carrying a “John 3:16” sign?

    10 extra yards for hitting a security guard?

  21. yankeemofo says: Mar 28, 2017 6:11 PM

    connfyoozed says:
    Mar 28, 2017 5:52 PM
    How about 1 point if the kicker calls which upright he will hit with the kickoff and then hits it?

    5 points if the kickoff sails into the stand and hits any fan carrying a “John 3:16” sign?

    10 extra yards for hitting a security guard?

    —————————-

    How many points if a guy with a mullet jumps into the tunnel and catches it?

  22. laserw says: Mar 28, 2017 6:20 PM

    Kickoffs that go through the goal posts should result in a 3 point score for that team AND getting the ball back on offense. This is a skill that needs to be rewarded. Nothing worse than a kickoff ending up in the endzone.

  23. rootpain says: Mar 28, 2017 10:50 PM

    And an automatic win if the kicker hits Goodell in the back of the head at any game he attends.

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