The sole rule proposal the Philadelphia Eagles submitted at the NFL owner’s meetings this year is expected to pass, according to a report from NFL insider Adam Schefter. The NFL will now prohibit defending players from leaping over the line in order to block field goal and extra point attempts.
Previously, players were allowed to leap over the line as long as they didn’t come in contact with a player in the process. Here’s an example:
Now this play will be a penalty.
Why the need for the change? As ESPN explained it, “the rule is difficult to officiate, and the strategy can be dangerous from a safety standpoint.”
This rule change has the backing of the players. Earlier this offseason, NFLPA president Eric Winston called for leaping to be illegal due to player safety.
“The jumping over on the field goal, I think, is just leading to a really dangerous play for everybody,” said Winston. “If you jump over the center, the jumper is in a really bad spot. He can land on his head. I think the guys that are getting jumped over are going to end up getting hurt, with those guys landing on them.”
The Eagles originally submitted five new proposals this year, including one about allowing alternate helmets which led to speculation about the return of Kelly Green. But then the Eagles withdrew four of those proposals after consulting with the NFL’s competition committee. Their sole remaining proposal has seemly passed.
Between this and the coin toss, you can’t say the Eagles aren’t winning the offseason!