NFL owners approve eight rule changes for 2017 season

Curtis Rawls

The relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas dominated headlines at the NFL’s annual owners meeting in Phoenix, though it’s hardly the only item on the agenda.

In addition to approving Raider Nation’s move to Sin City, the league’s owners implemented new rules that effect play on the field as well how the league conducts business beginning with the 2017 season.


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The playing rules proposals going into effect are:
1. Prohibition of the “leaper” block attempt on field goal and extra point plays
2. The rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanslike conduct fouls
3. The spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick will be the 25-yard line (for one year only)
4. A receiver running a pass route will receive defenseless player protection
5. Crackback blocks by a backfield player in motion will be prohibited, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped
6. The sideline replay monitor will be replaced with a hand-held device and designated members of the officiating crew will be authorized to make the final decision on replay reviews
7. Committing multiple fouls during the same down in order to manipulate the game clock will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct
8. Actions designed to conserve time will be illegal after the two-minute warning of each half

The owners also approved the following bylaw proposals:
1. Rules for timing, testing, and administering physical examinations to draft-eligible players at a club’s facility will be liberalized (for one year only)
2. The procedures for returning a player on reserve/physically unable to perform or reserve/non-football injury or illness will be the same as returning a player that was designated to return
3. The league office will transmit a personnel notice to clubs on Sundays during training camp and the preseason

The owners also approved a resolution proposal that permit contract or non-contract football employees to interview with and be hired by another club during the regular season, provided that the employer club has consented.

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