Owners vote down proposal to move kickoffs to 40-yard line

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Kickoffs will remain at the 35-yard line this season after owners voted down a proposal to move them to the 40.

Three years ago the league moved kickoffs from the 30 to the 35 as a player safety measure, arguing that the rule would create more touchbacks and therefore fewer high-speed collisions on tackles. When passing that rule, the NFL also added rules restricting how the kickoff team could line up, to create shorter running starts.

This year, Washington’s proposal to move kickoffs to the 40 came out of the blue, and there didn’t seem to be a lot of support for it. So it’s not surprising that the owners voted it down, as reported by Albert Breer of NFL Network.

The kickoff is still viewed as one of the most dangerous plays in football, and there’s even been talk that the league might eliminate kickoffs entirely. But for now, the rules on kickoffs will remain the same, for the fourth season in a row.

22 responses to “Owners vote down proposal to move kickoffs to 40-yard line

  1. I think the players union would file a grievance if it were moved. There are players who make their living on kickoffs. Moving it up to the 40 would cost some of them their job.

  2. Why was this even tabled in the first place? Stupid proposal.


    Good. Who cares if it’s “dangerous” it’s football. Tackling is dangerous too, is that next to go?


    1) It was tabled as a possibility to further increase player safety. It said this in the article

    2) The owners WOULDN’T care if it’s dangerous, except for the whole players suing the NFL thing. If you don’t want the game to be changed with the times, then point fault at the players (lol good luck with that).

  3. The non-competitiveness of kickoffs is becoming a bigger problem for me than the chipping of an extra point. Extra point is the post celebration, grab another beer, and take a pee time. You come back after a 5 minute commercial break to watch a guy kick it 10 feet into the stands and then take another 4 minute commercial break. Move the kickoff back to where it was few years ago.

  4. If they moved kickoffs out to the 40 — one effect of such a change would be that it would make the risk/reward ratio more encouraging for the execution of onside kick attempts.

  5. Kickoffs are a joke now from the 35. If this passed, they might as well eliminate it. If they’re going to keep the kickoff at the 35 for player safety, then I’d like to see them adopt something similar to college that would bring the ball out to the 25 or 30 for touchbacks. I’d definitely like to see that implemented at least for kicks that go out of the back of the endzone on the fly. The returner should at least be given a chance to return the kick.

  6. If it was the 40 they should be drop kicking the ball or punting.

    I’m surprised they didn’t propose the rule, if the ball goes into the End Zone it’s an automatic touchback.. much like high school football.

  7. If you are going to move it to the 40, you might as well make it an automatic touch back and skip the kickoff altogether. Even the worst kickoff guy in the NFL could boot it out of the back of the end zone from the 40.

  8. Hey if you saw our special teams last year you’d understand why the proposal. The Skins will gladly give their opponents the ball on the 20 every time!

  9. If they moved it to the 40, even I could kick touchbacks. If I recall correctly, data suggests that moving it to the 35 yard line has added to player safety (and obviously to touchbacks). However, moving it to the 40 would just make the play useless altogether. Better just make the coin toss winner decide if they want to start on offense or defense and set the ball on the 20 yard line to start the game.

  10. Did anyone see the Redskins special team units last season? They couldn’t tackle anyone during a return.

    Of course the Redskins wanted to move the Kickoff spot. Reduces the amount of return yards they give up.

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