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Eagles propose four new NFL rule changes

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Changes are coming.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to proposing the reinstatement of alternate colored helmets (the return of Kelly Green?!), the Philadelphia Eagles submitted four new rule proposals to be voted on at the NFL owners meetings next week. Here’s a look at all four:

1. By Philadelphia: Gives additional protections for long snappers on kick plays.

2. By Philadelphia: Prohibits the “leaper” block attempt on field goal and extra point plays.

3. By Philadelphia: Expands the “crown of helmet” foul to include “hairline” part of helmet.

4. By Philadelphia: Amends the challenge system by granting a third challenge if a club is successful on at least one of its initial two challenges, and expands reviewable plays outside of two minutes of each half.

A few thoughts:

  • There are 15 rule proposals in total, so the Eagles’ proposals almost count for a third of this year’s list. Washington has two proposals and the Bills/Seahawks combined for one. The competition committee accounts for the rest. So the Eagles finally beat other teams at something!
  • The long snapper rule might be the Eagles’ response to Jon Dorenbos getting knocked out for the season by a dirty hit from a Washington player last year.
  • We already talked about the leaping thing earlier this week.
  • The current challenge system really penalizes teams for getting the first one wrong. Because if you do get it wrong on the first try, then you have to evaluate if throwing the flag the second time is even worth it given the situation. A bad call might be made and you know throwing the flag would overturn it but the reward might only be a few yards so you might be reluctant to burn it thinking you might need the challenge for something more significant later on. If the Eagles’ proposal passes, teams wouldn’t need to have reservations about throwing the challenge flag on the second try if they failed the first time.

Here’s the full list of rules, proposals, and bylaws.

Rule proposals

1. By Philadelphia: Gives additional protections for long snappers on kick plays.

2. By Philadelphia: Prohibits the “leaper” block attempt on field goal and extra point plays.

3. By Philadelphia: Expands the “crown of helmet” foul to include “hairline” part of helmet.

4. By Philadelphia: Amends the challenge system by granting a third challenge if a club is successful on at least one of its initial two challenges, and expands reviewable plays outside of two minutes of each half.

5. By Washington: Eliminates the limit of three total challenges per team per game and eliminates the requirement that a team be successful on each of its first two challenges in order to be awarded a third challenge.

6. By Washington: Moves the line of scrimmage to the 20-yard line for any touchback where the free kick travels through the uprights.

7. By Buffalo and Seattle: Permits a coach to challenge any officials’ decision except scoring plays and turnovers.

8. By Competition Committee: Makes permanent the rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.

9. By Competition Committee: Changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line for one year only.

10. By Competition Committee: Reduces the length of preseason and regular season overtime periods to 10 minutes.

11. By Competition Committee: Gives a receiver running a pass route defenseless player protection.

12. By Competition Committee: Makes crackback blocks prohibited by a backfield player who is in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped.

13. By Competition Committee: Replaces the sideline replay monitor with a hand-held device and authorizes designated members of the Officiating department to make the final decision on replay reviews.

14. By Competition Committee: Makes it Unsportsmanlike Conduct to commit multiple fouls during the same down designed to manipulate the game clock.

15. By Competition Committee: Makes actions to conserve time illegal after the two-minute warning of either half.

Bylaw proposals

1. By Washington: Amends Article XVII, Section 17.1 to eliminate the mandatory cutdown to 75 Active List players.

2. By Washington: Amends Article XVII, Section 17.14 to place a player who has suffered a concussion, and who has not been cleared to play, on the club’s Exempt List, and be replaced by a player on the club’s Practice Squad on a game-by-game basis until the player is cleared to play.

3. By Washington: Amends Article XIX, Sections 19.8(B) and 19.9(B) to permit clubs to opt out of the “color rush” jerseys created for Thursday Night Football.

4. By Competition Committee: Liberalizes rules for timing, testing, and administering physical examinations to draft-eligible players at a club’s facility for one year only.

5. By Competition Committee: Changes the procedures for returning a player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness to the Active List to be similar to those for returning a player that was Designated for Return.

6. By Competition Committee; The League office will transmit a Personnel Notice to clubs on Sundays during training camp and preseason.

Resolution proposals

1. By Philadelphia: Amends the NFL’s On-Field Policy to allow clubs to have an alternate helmet in a color to match their third uniform.

2. By Competition Committee: Permits a club to negotiate and reach an agreement with a head coach candidate during the postseason prior to the conclusion of the employer club’s season.

3. By Competition Committee: Permits a contract or non-contract non-football employee to interview with and be hired by another club during the playing season, provided the employer club has consented.


Some more thoughts on these proposals:

  • I actually kinda like Washington’s proposal about rewarding teams when the kickoff goes through the uprights. Having the team start at the 20 instead of the 25-yard line in those cases seems fair to me. The Ravens’ previous proposal of being awarded one-point for that feat was too extreme. Also it was clearly just about giving themselves an edge since Justin Tucker is amazing.
  • In years past, teams have proposed eliminating preseason overtime. Somehow it’s been voted down. Why?! Who wants to see preseason overtime. At least they’re trying to cut it down by five minutes now. I don’t think regular season overtimes should be only 10 minutes, though.
  • Sad to see the NFL trying to outlaw an old Buddy Ryan strategy (that Chip Kelly also successfully utilized last year). RIP Buddy.
  • I like the idea that’s being kicked around on Twitter regarding Color Rush jerseys. How about we ditch those and have throwback jerseys on Thursday Night Football? Another reason to pass the Eagles’ alternate helmet proposal!
  • The roster cut down to 75 players seems pointless considering teams need some of those players for the final preseason game, when mainly backup players play.

What’s your take on this year’s proposals?