As NFL owners gather for the league’s annual spring meetings next week, a number of rule changes will be voted on. The Philadelphia Eagles have brought at least one new proposal to the table, according to a report from ESPN.
The Philadelphia Eagles are proposing a rule change that would prohibit players from jumping over the line of scrimmage to block a field goal or extra point. Currently, players can do it as long as they do not materially come into contact with an opponent while jumping. The rule is difficult to officiate, and the strategy can be dangerous from a safety standpoint.
Here’s an example of the play. Again, this is legal because No. 58 doesn't touch a player as he's jumping over the line. If he did, that would be a penalty.
And here’s a funny example of a player totally mistiming the leap. This is a penalty because he's clearly offside.
The Eagles haven't been personally impacted by this leaping rule in recent history, so it's not like this is just a case of sour grapes. It would seem that Eagles special teams coordinator Dave Fipp, who is great at his job, might have had some influence in this proposal.
The Eagles aren't alone in their effort to ban players from jumping over the line on field goals. Earlier this offseason, the NFLPA told the league's competition committee that they also want to the line-jumping banned. Pressure from the union could factor into the final decision on the proposal.
In other news, ESPN reports the competition committee will recommend the league to hire full-time officials for the 2017 season. Given the lack of quality officiating these days, this proposal seems like something that's way overdue.
Check out this article for more big topics of focus that will come up in discussion next week.