Matt Kartozian/USA Today Sports

New rule changes passed at NFL owners meetings

NFL owners approved eight rules changes for the upcoming season at their annual owners' meeting in Phoenix Tuesday.

NFL owners approved eight new rule changes for the upcoming season on Tuesday, but the Arizona Cardinals didn't have to look past the first new rule to have their memory jolted.

When the NFL owners convened for their annual offseason meeting in Phoenix, the group voted to prohibit the "leaper" block attempt on field goals and extra points which is a rule Arizona head coach Bruce Arians has been advocating for.

During the Cardinals' 6-6 tie with Seattle in 2016, Seahawks' linebacker Bobby Wagner successfully pulled off the "leaper" block attempt and batted down a 39-yard field goal try from Chandler Catanzaro. Then, in overtime, Wagner again leapt over the Cardinals' long snapper, and though he didn't make contact with the ball, Catanzaro missed a chip-shot 24-yard field goal that would have given Arizona the victory.

Arians was heated after the Cardinals' tie, calling the "leaper" play "bad for football," in an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio.

The rule to ban "leaping" attempts was initially proposed by the Philadelphia Eagles.  

The following are the eight playing rule proposals going into effect in 2017:

1. Prohibition of the “leaper” block attempt on field goal and extra point plays.

2. The rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanslike conduct fouls.

3. The spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick will be the 25-yard line (for one year only).

4. A receiver running a pass route will receive defenseless player protection.

5. Crackback blocks by a backfield player in motion will be prohibited, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped.

6. The sideline replay monitor will be replaced with a hand-held device and designated members of the officiating crew will be authorized to make the final decision on replay reviews.

7. Committing multiple fouls during the same down in order to manipulate the game clock will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct.

8. Actions designed to conserve time will be illegal after the two-minute warning of each half.

Additionally, a slew of proposals for rule changes did not pass or were tabled, including one that would have put touchbacks on the 20-yard line if a kickoff sailed through the uprights and one that would have shortened overtime from 15 minutes to 10 minutes. The NFL will once again consider rule proposals that were tabled at the Spring League Meeting in May. 


CardinalsSource Top Stories