On Tuesday, the NFL announced seven rule change proposals that will be considered for the upcoming season. The Philadelphia Eagles have put four different rule changes on the table. The Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers have jointly proposed two and the Miami Dolphins have put forth another.
Here they are:
By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7, to modify the blindside block rule to prevent unnecessary fouls.
By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 15, Section 2, to make permanent the expansion of automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful Try attempt.
By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 6, Section 1, Article 1, to provide an alternative to the onside kick that would allow a team who is trailing in the game an opportunity to maintain possession of the ball after scoring (4th and 15 from the kicking team’s 25-yard line).
By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 16, Section 1, to restore preseason and regular season overtime to 15 minutes and implement rules to minimize the impact of the overtime coin toss.
By Miami; to amend Rule 4, Section 3, Article 2, to provide the option to the defense for the game clock to start on the referee’s signal if the defense declines an offensive penalty that occurs late in either half.
By Baltimore and Los Angeles Chargers; to amend Rule 19, Section 2, to add a “booth umpire” as an eighth game official to the officiating crew.
By Baltimore and Los Angeles Chargers; to amend Rule 19, Section 2, to add a Senior Technology Advisor to the Referee to assist the officiating crew.
Notably absent from this list are the overtime proposals the Kansas City Chiefs put forward last season: to eliminate overtime in preseason games, remove the coin toss to begin overtime (instead giving the team the won the opening toss the same options they had to begin the game) and guaranteeing each team gets at least one overtime possession .
The team’s proposal was not adopted last spring. At the time, the Chiefs indicated they might propose a modified version in 2020. But the team has apparently decided not to do so.
The proposed rule change that will probably draw the most attention is the Eagles’ idea to give teams a way to retain possession of the ball when trailing in a game. Changes in kickoff rules have made onside kicks very difficult to pull off. This rule — which would give teams the option of attempting a fourth-and-15 from their own 25 instead of kicking off — might make easier for teams to mount a comeback.
None of these proposals have yet met with the blessing of the NFL’s competition committee. Ultimately, each proposal would have to face a vote of the owners during the league meeting at the end of March. In order for a proposed rule change to be adopted, 24 of the 32 owners would have to vote in favor of it.