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NFL rule changes for 2017 season officially announced

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Here’s a look at what passed (and what didn’t).

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL officially announced approved rule changes for the 2017 season as voted on by owners at league meetings this week. Here’s a complete list.

Approved 2017 Playing Rules Proposals

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

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.

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.

Approved 2017 Bylaw Proposals

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.

Approved 2017 Resolution Proposal

G-4. 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 thoughts on these approved proposals:

  • The Eagles’ resolution proposal about bringing back alternate helmets was pulled before it was ever voted on. The good news is that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said he wants to bring Kelly Green back as an alternate. He added the team will make more efforts to restore the alternate helmets.
  • As noted earlier, the Philadelphia Eagles’ proposal about banning “leaping” went through. The vote was unanimous at 32-0. Defending players will no longer be allowed to jump over the line in order to block field goals. The NFLPA was reportedly a big factor in getting leaping removed from the game due to player safety concerns.
  • The NFL did not pass a proposal that would have shortened overtime to 10 minutes. Lurie voted no in part because he was concerned teams would try to milk the clock and go on a long field goal drive. Personally, I think the current 15-minute overtime length is fine. Except for preseason. We don’t need preseason OT. Just get rid of it.
  • The NFL unanimosuly decided to put a (suspected) Dallas Cowboys fan in charge of all replays. That’s crazy. Even if you think Dean Blandino isn’t a Cowboys fan, how can anyone (except Dallas) feel good about putting final decisions on replays in the control of a single person? Really wish Lurie didn’t vote to approve this decision.
  • Nothing else too noteworthy here. The NFL didn’t approve some of the more fun and interesting proposals this year. Shocker.