NFL competition committee announces rule proposals

When the NFL’s annual meeting kicks off Sunday in Arizona, the league’s ownership will vote on a number of proposed rule changes. Among them are the following:

  • Banning defensive players from leaping over the long snapper during field goal and extra point attempts
  • Centralizing replay reviews in the New York command center, giving the league office final say over challenges, “with input from the referee”
  • Streamlining the review process with a tablet given to the referee on the field to review challenges rather than make him view disputed plays at a sideline monitor
  • Allowing the referee to make the replay announcement during commercial break
  • The expansion of a defenseless player protection to include receivers running routes, including the area 5 yards from the line of scrimmage
  • The Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills jointly proposed a rule that increases the number of challenges a team can have in a game, as well as to allow coaches to challenge any officiating decision made by a referee
  • Make halftime length standard to 13½ minutes
  • Limit overtime in preseason and regular season games to 10 minutes
  • Make the automatic ejection of a player who has been flagged for two unsportsmanlike penalties permanent after the rule was adopted last season on a one-year basis
  • Place the ball at the 25-yard line following touchbacks for one more season, after the rule was adopted last season on a one-year basis

The rule that would ban the leaper on kicking plays produced some of the more exciting moments of recent seasons, including when the Denver Broncos blocked an extra point and returned it for two points to beat the New Orleans Saints 25-23 on Nov. 13.

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