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NFL Owners Vote For & Against Rule Change Proposals

Posted Mar 26, 2014

NFL owners voted Wednesday on several rule change and bylaws proposals on the final day of the 2014 NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Here’s a recap of reports from NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal, Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith and FootballZebras.com’s Ben Austro:

Rule change proposals that passed:

  • Allowing consultation between the referees at games with members of the NFL officiating department at a centralized location (command center in New York) during replay reviews (this rule passed on Tuesday)
  • Extending the uprights of the goal posts an additional 5 feet, which will make them a height of 35 feet above the cross bars
  • Disallowing blockers to hit an opponent in the side of his legs, to strengthen a rule that already prohibits contact from a blocker to the back of an opponent’s legs
  • Changing structure of what can and cannot be reviewed, including creating the ability to review recovery of a loose ball in the field of play (nicknamed the “NaVorro Bowman Rule” for a play that occurred in the NFC Championship game between San Francisco and Seattle)
  • Enforcing defensive fouls that occur behind the line of scrimmage from the previous spot
  • Ending stoppage of the game clock after a quarterback is sacked outside of the two-minute warning

Referee Mike Carey signals a penalty.

Rule change proposals that failed:

  • Moving the line of scrimmage for kickoffs to the 40-yard line (kicking teams will continue to kick from their own 35-yard line)
  • Expanding instant replay review to include personal foul penalties
  • Permitting a coach to challenge any official’s decision, aside from scoring plays that are automatically reviewed
  • Making the 25-yard line the line of scrimmage for extra-point kicks; the NFL will experiment with the line of scrimmage at the 20 for extra points (kicks will be 37 yards) during the first two preseason games

Rule change proposals that were tabled (to remain for upcoming consideration):

  • Eliminating overtime in preseason games (will be reviewed in May)
  • Installing cameras with fixed views of the sidelines, end lines and goal lines
  • Modifying rules so that pass interference could be called within one yard of the line of scrimmage to prevent “pick” plays

Bylaw proposal that passed:

  • Moving the deadline for the final roster reduction from 6 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern (final cuts to the 53-man roster must be submitted by this time)

Bylaw proposals that failed:

  • Eliminating the roster reduction from 90 to 75 players during training camp and have one reduction from 90 to 53
  • Allowing more than one player to return to active status from injured reserve (currently teams have the option of designating one player to return from injured reserve after six weeks, but it is a season-ending move for additional players or if a team withholds its designation in case of an injury to another player — the Titans did not use the designation in 2013)

Bylaw proposals that were tabled:

  • Raising the number of active players for (non-Sunday, Monday or Week 1 games) from 46 to 49
  • Raising the practice squad limit from eight players to 10 players
  • Allowing clubs to trade players before the start of the league year (which began March 11 this year)
  • Permitting each club to time and test up to 10 draft-eligible players at its facility and allow clubs to attend such sessions at another team’s facility

Resolution proposal that was tabled:

  • Allowing a home team with a retractable roof to open or close its roof at halftime (currently a team must decide at the start of the game)

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