Points of interest at NFL owners meetings

NFL owners are gathering for their spring meetings and a few points of interest will be discussed, with the administering of extra points on the table for change.

The NFL owners meetings in San Francisco on Tuesday and Wednesday might only have one immediate impact – a change to the way extra points are administered – but that issue and others could have more lasting ramifications on the business of the league on and off the field.

Three proposals will be on the table regarding extra points.

One would be to move the extra-point spot from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line to increase the challenge of that kick. Last year, only eight extra points were missed, with six of those misses being accounted for by blocks. That’s better than a 99 percent success rate on more than 1,100 attempts. Some in the NFL want to make it more of a challenge to keep fans engaged for every play.

Another proposal would allow a defensive team the opportunity to return a turnover on a two-point attempt to the other end zone for two points.

The Eagles have suggested moving the ball to the 1-yard line if a team wants to attempt a two-point conversion.

Any proposal would need at least 75 percent approval to pass.

Other items of interest at the owners meetings:

  • Possible future Super Bowl host cities could be suggested, with Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington all possibilities. Super Bowl 50 in 2016 will be in Santa Clara, Calif., followed by Houston in 2017 and Minneapolis in 2018. Sites after that will be voted on in future owners meetings.

  • If Los Angeles is granted a current franchise (or two) with a new stadium, that might also be a future consideration for hosting a Super Bowl.

  • And, finally, what will be the fallout from the NFL’s punishment of the New England Patriots and their quarterback, Tom Brady? The Patriots were fined $1 million and had a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017 taken from them, as two of their employees were found to have been “more probable than not” deflating footballs for the AFC Championship Game, with Brady at least being “generally aware” of what was happening, according to an NFL investigation into the matter.

    However, Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick were believed to have no knowledge of the improperly deflated footballs. Still, Kraft has voiced his displeasure with the report, despite being close with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Some believed Kraft would appeal the punishment against the Patriots, just as NFL Players Association has done in Brady’s discipline. However, Kraft said Tuesday he wouldn’t fight the team’s punishment.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t talk to the general assembly of owners about the process of NFL investigations and ensuing discipline. If Kraft and Goodell have extended talks about this case, could it lead to a change in the NFL being allowed to investigate, issue punishment and hear the appeals of their rulings?

    The NFL contends that is its right specified in the collective bargaining agreement, but the NFL Players Association has attempted to have its appeals in player discipline heard by a neutral third party. To date, those attempts haven’t undone the NFL’s process, but the relationship between Kraft and Goodell might at least help foster a discussion on the topic.

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