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Competition Committee Releases Proposed Rule Changes


The NFL's Competition Committee on Thursday released the list of proposed rule changes for the upcoming season.

The committee, which met in three cities over 10 days this offseason, included the NCAA and four current officials in the discussions.

Proposed rule changes can be submitted by the competition committee or by clubs. The proposals for 2016 will be presented at the annual league meeting next week in Florida.

Ownership members or a representative from each of the 32 NFL teams will vote on the proposed rule changes.

A few of the proposed rule changes and bylaws are highlighted below.

— Disqualification of a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.

A player would be ejected if they commit two unsportsmanlike penalties in the same game. Such penalties include:

a)    "Throwing a punch, or a forearm or kicking at an opponent, even though no contact is made.

b)   Using abusive, threatening or insulting language or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials or representatives of the league.

c)    Using baiting or taunting acts or words that engender ill will between teams."  

—Permanently moving the line of scrimmage for point after touchdown try kicks to the defensive team's 15-yard line, and allowing the defense to return any missed try.

This rule was implemented for the 2015 season, and the suggestion is to make it permanent. Kickers were successful on 94.2 percent of extra points (from the new distance of 33 yards) in 2015, down from 99.3 percent at a closer distance (20 yards) the year before.

—Permitting the offensive and defensive play callers on the coaching staffs to use the coach-to-player communication system regardless of whether they are on the field or in the coaches' booth.

The current rule says play callers must communicate information to the sideline before it's transmitted to the field. The Vikings, for example, use a system where Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner relays plays to quarterbacks coach Scott Turner, who then relays the play to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The new proposal would allow Norv Turner to talk directly to Bridgewater.

—Permitting coaches to review video displayed on club-issued Surface tablets on the sidelines and in the coaches' booth.

Coaches and players currently look at still photos of plays while on the sidelines. This proposed change would allow them to review video instead.

— Making all chop blocks illegal.

This proposed change would intend to reduce injuries.

— Changing the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line.

Touchbacks after free kicks currently give a team the ball at the 20-yard line. This would add an extra five yards to the rule.

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