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NFL proposes rule changes, including longer extra points, higher goalposts

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

The NFL will consider 13 new rules proposals made by the league’s competition committee at next week's owners' meetings in Orlando, Fla., says NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

The New England Patriots and Washington Redskins were two of the more active teams in terms of suggesting rule changes.

Among the potential changes, not listed below is a personal-foul call for players using the n-word on the field, but it remains an area of focus and concern for the league.

In addition, the competition committee's Rich McKay said that they support the idea of expanded playoffs, adding one postseason spot per conference. This will still be voted on by the owners, and it would require three-quarters of them to approve it. 

Here is the list of the 13 proposed changes:

1. Move kickoffs to the 40-yard line, from the 35, where it is now.
2. Making all personal fouls reviewable.
3. Eliminating overtime in preseason games.
4. Extending the goalposts vertically by 5 feet on each side.
5. Moving extra-point attempts to the 25-yard line, making it a 43-yard try. (This was proposed by the Patriots.) The competition committee separately is proposing one preseason game this season where extra-point snaps will take place from the 20.
6. Adding six cameras to all boundary lines on the field to supplement TV camera angles.
7. Allowing any officials' decisions to be challenged by coaches, not just specific kinds of plays.
8. Protecting players from getting their legs rolled up on from the side — and not just from the back — as a penalty.
9. Allowing the referee to confer with members of the NFL officiating department in New York at the league office during replay reviews.
10. Changing review rules on the recovery of a loose ball — aka, the "NaVorro Bowman rule" from the controversial NFC championship game non-call — in the field of play. This would including reorganizing the replay section of the NFL rulebook. (Which, frankly, needs it.)
11. Keeping the clock running on quarterback sacks at all times of the game.
12. Changing pass interference so that it can be called within a yard of the line of scrimmage.
13. Enforcing defensive penalties behind the line of scrimmage from the previous spot, instead of from the end of the play or from the spot of the foul.

In addition, there were several bylaw change proposals:

1. Raising the number of active players on gameday roster from 46 players to 49 for non-Sunday or Monday  regular-season games, excluding Week 1. The league has Thursday games throughout the season, as well as some late-season Saturday contests.
2. Raising the practice squad roster size from eight to 10 players.
3. Permitting teams to trade players prior to the start of the league year (i.e. from the end of the Super Bowl to, using this year as an example, March 11).
4. Changing mandatory roster cutdowns during the preseason go from 90 players directly to 53, skipping the 75-player step. ("Hard Knocks" would be upset at this.)
5. Allowing more than one player to be "designated to return" on the injured reserve to come back after six weeks.
6. Allowing teams to test and time up to 10 draft prospects at their own facilities, and allowing any rival team to come witness the testing and timing at the other teams' facilities.
7. Changing the roster reduction time after the fourth preseason from 6 p.m. ET to 4 p.m., with all teams to submit their list of final cuts in by 4 p.m.

There also was one resolution proposal suggested:

1. Allowing a team with a retractable roof to open or close its stadium roof at halftime, and not having to determine before the game whether it will be open or closed.

 

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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