Report: Roger Goodell’s lobbying convinced several teams to approve fair catch kickoff rule

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On Tuesday, the NFL’s 32 teams voted to approve a new rule that will put the ball on the 25-yard line following any fair catch on a kickoff return. But it took some work from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to convince teams to vote for the measure.

On Monday, the NFL delayed voting on the rule change. That was apparently because the league office wanted the rule change, but didn’t have the necessary 24 votes to make the change.

According to Albert Breer, as of Monday there were at least a dozen teams ready to vote no, and with only nine no votes required to kill the proposal and keep the rule as it was, Goodell got to work on lobbying teams to change their minds.

Eventually, the rule change passed with 26 yes votes, five no votes (the Ravens, Patriots, Bengals, Bears and Lions) and one abstention (the Raiders).

The kickoff rule change was one of two significant issues on which the league office was able to convince enough teams to go along with its preferred policy. The other was flexing Thursday night games, which didn’t appear to have enough support to pass until the Commanders and Saints changed their minds and becoming the 23rd and 24th votes the league needed to make the change.

13 responses to “Report: Roger Goodell’s lobbying convinced several teams to approve fair catch kickoff rule

  1. Roger: “Come on fellas. Give me your votes and I’ll give you 2 years of salary cap violations and you can tamper all you want. Just give me this.”

  2. We don’t hate Roger because he is the Commissioner, we hate Roger because he shouldn’t have anything to do with football.. the business side.. sure.. the game side. Absolutely not.

  3. And we’ll never know what “gifts” were given, or threats were made, to convince some to change their votes. Goodell and all who are working to install predictability and sanitization to the game are ruining the spirit of the NFL. But they don’t care, as long as there is a potential for more money to be made and possible lawsuits avoided. Good for you, Ravens, Patriots, Bengals, Bears and Lions for caring about preserving the integrity of the game.

  4. So the commissioner did his job which is why he keeps getting extended. He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to the NFL

  5. Adopt the kickoff rule that the XFL uses. It would probably kill the NFL to use a sensible rule like that because it was being used by the ‘inferior’ XFL. Goodell and his cronies are ruining the game. I’m all for safety but again why do you allow multiple players to hold up a ballcarrier while another player flies in trying to knock it loose. How safe is that for the ballcarrier?

  6. Like i said yesterday he gets votes for favors and takes any opportunity to punish the teams that don`t vote HIS way. He`s more corrupt than any politician! And he`s the reason i havn`t spent another dime on any NFL product the last 3 years. I`ll still watch for free but i`m not contributing to his paycheck ever again. It`s sad how much credit he gets for “growing the game” instead of the players that have actually made us want to watch the games despite our disgust with what the “business side” of the NFL has done to turn us off. Biggest con job and con artist of all time.

  7. Good for you, Ravens, Patriots, Bengals, Bears and Lions for caring about preserving the integrity of the game.——————————————

    Now I wonder what Goodell is going to do to these teams. The teams that went against the Thursday game shuffle all had some bad things happen with their schedules this year. He now has teams afraid to buck him. If he were fired tomorrow, it wouldn’t be too soon for me.

  8. 10 years ago Longtime Special Teams coach Mike Westhoff proposesed an alternative to the Kickoff –

    His words:

    “I still want to have a play so I can develop players, and quit turning the game into a singular game where it’s all about the quarterback.”

    “I want to change it, in essence, from a kickoff return to a punt return. I want to kick off from the 25-yard line because I want every ball to be returned.”

    “But then what I would do, is I would have the normal restraints, and then in the next ten yards, I want the return team to have to line up eight or nine guys. So I want the blockers in a close proximity. I want to change the proximity of collision from a 40-yard run, to a 10-yard run.”

  9. Gooodell strikes again! The cheating just never ends. BB drafts Marcus Jones and he’s All Pro and then BB drafts a punter and here comes this mystery new rule that isn’t necessary to promote fake caring about “player safety”.

    And, for anyone who claims Goodell has no influence on rules, case in point right here.

    We have so many embarrassingly naive adults in this country. Used to be funny, but now it’s scary when you see the reaches it has in our society.

  10. Why on earth is the commissioner lobbying for or against rules changes? That seems way out of his lane. The league has a competition committee to address things like this, the league HQ shouldn’t be involved.

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