Source: XFL kickoff rule is not likely to get to 24 votes

The NFL kickoff has become irrelevant. The NFL keeps looking for ways to make it relevant again. One potential alternative might not be the answer.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL is not likely to adopt the XFL kickoff rule. More specifically, the XFL's unique approach is not likely to muster the requisite 24 votes from ownership.

The XFL kickoff puts 20 players five yards apart, on the receiving team's 30 and 35 yard line, with those players remaining static until the kick is caught by the lone return specialist.

It would result in more returns. However, the source explained that neither the Competition Committee nor the NFL's coaches are advocating for adoption of the XFL rule. "Someone else is pushing it," the source said.

If that someone else is the Commissioner or someone with the Commissioner's ear (e.g., Jeff Pash and/or Jeff Miller), it can't be ruled out completely. If Roger Goodell is willing to burn political equity and to twist a few arms, he could try to get to 24.

The UFL, as announced on Tuesday, will not be adopting the XFL kickoff. Instead, they'll use a traditional kickoff play, with the ball placed at the kicking team's 20.

The NFL has acknowledged for years that the kickoff return is the most dangerous play in the game. The league has tried to make the play safer both by having fewer kickoff returns and by minimizing the high-speed collisions between players moving in opposite directions.

At some point, the NFL should just put the ball on the receiving team's 25 and be done with it. However, that approach eliminates the potential for the scoring team retaining possession via an onside kick. The league would need to adopt a replacement for it, such as a fourth-and-15 scrimmage play.