Some NFL rule proposals are laughable

NFL owners will be facing a number of rules changes, many dealing with challenges, and some of them bordering on laughable.

The NFL owners aren’t expected to make any earth-shattering rules changes at the annual NFL owners meetings, which get underway today, but there will be several that will get voted up or down by the owners that could impact the game in 2015.

The big topic will likely be the treatment Rams owner Stan Kroenke gets from the assembled owners. A year ago, he was embattled with state and local officials in Missouri. A year later, he’s planning to “go rogue” and be part of a group building a stadium in Los Angeles to unilaterally relocate his team. At the same time, the Chargers are Raiders appeared to be having their own Gumball Rally to break for their own L.A. digs.

While that likely will be the biggest news to come out, there is always the discussion of proposed rules changes. Some are ridiculous. Some make sense. It took instant replay several persistent denials to finally get approved – enough teams got jobbed by the refs to jump on the bandwagon.

There is a pretty extensive list of proposed rules changes, but it’s no guarantee that any of them will pass and there certainly are some doomed for failure.
As a preview, here some of the proposals being offered up when stadium discussions and the Calvin Johnson Rule aren’t getting serious lip service:

We’re Going To Need A Bigger Vikings Boat – A proposed bylaws change would all but eliminate getting rid of players until Labor Day Weekend. Roster sizes have been allowed to stay larger in recent years and the current proposal would get rid of the training camp cut-down from 90 to 75 players. When roster cuts would be made, they would go directly from 90 to 53 –flooding the market with a whopping 1,184 unemployed players simultaneously. Sounds like a lot of work for decision-makers on a holiday that honors taking the day off.

Let’s Make An 18-Point Deficit A Two-Possession Game – Jim Irsay has been known for bad decisions and public embarrassments. But the proposal from his Colts organization is so bizarre it deserves consideration – followed by mocking, ridicule and perhaps a wedgie from Jerry Jones. Under the proposal (no kidding), teams that score a touchdown and successfully convert a two-point pass or run can kick a standard extra point – from 50 yards away! This one has about as good a chance of being approved as Draft Day was of sweeping the Oscars.

Only We Can Cheat – The Patriots have become something akin to the Raiders of their era for suspicious behavior. Yet they are looking to change rules of their own … apparently legally. New England is requesting that owners vote to eliminate the ban on challenges in the final two minutes of the half or in overtime. While controversial plays are automatically reviewed, coach challenges aren’t allowed. Sounds like Bill Belichick looking to get a five-minute timeout to get longer to plan his next play or two.

Can’t You Hear? Only We Can Cheat – The Patriots didn’t like getting schooled by the Ravens about players being eligible or ineligible and where they can play. You don’t anger Uncle Bill and that did – by a Harbaugh, no less. The Patriots want be sure that anyone declaring as ineligible puts a hand in the dirt in-line. Nobody out-cheats the best.

More Cameras For New England – The Patriots weren’t done with shady proposals. New England is also proposing placing fixed cameras along the sidelines, end lines and goal lines to improve the camera angles that broadcast networks have on the game.

We Have A Great Kicker. Do You? – Yet another bill from the House of Belichick will be considered, but this one won’t be viewed as potentially skeptically as the first two. New England is proposing that extra points be pushed back to the 15-yard line on a permanent basis, while keeping two-point conversion attempts from the 2-yard line. Maybe the Patriots have been burned by fake extra points before and want to eliminate that possibility.

Seeing Red – One proposal is asking that a coach call a timeout rather than using the red challenge flag. It’s unclear whether this could allow more challenges to be filed, because, as long as teams have timeouts, they could call them for the purpose of challenging plays. Under the proposal, the team would get its timeout back if the challenge is upheld. This plan could allow a team a dozen challenges if it wins enough to retain timeouts, so either it needs to be tweaked or has no chance of surviving.

So You’re Telling Me There’s A Chance? – The Bears are proposing a change that would allow both teams a chance to possess the ball in overtime if the team that gets the ball first scores a touchdown. Don’t worry about it, Bears fans. If Chicago gets to overtime, Jay Cutler will just throw a Pick-6 and get you on your way.

A Little Salty There, Detroit? – The Lions submitted a proposal that would call for every penalty called to be reviewed for accuracy. Considering teams like Lions routinely commit 10 or more penalties a game, welcome to four-hour early games and pushing five hours on prime-time games. Good luck with this one, Detroit.

Getting Personal – Both the Titans and Redskins submitted proposals to review personal foul penalties. Tennessee is asking that the plays be subject to review through a coach’s challenge. Washington just wants all personal fouls plays reviewed.

Head coaches likely aren’t going to schedule a golf outing this time around given the owners’ history of closed-door business being conducted during a pro-am. They may want to have a more active role in the proceedings, because, if passed, they’re going to have to deal with the changes to the rules of the games they oversee.


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