Pro­pos­als: Shorten OT, ban ‘leap­ing’ on kicks

Own­ers will vote on sev­eral po­ten­tial changes next week.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - AP FILE

NFL own­ers will con­sider pro­pos­als next week to cut reg­u­lar-sea­son over­time from 15 min­utes to 10; elim­i­nate play­ers leap­ing over the line on kick plays; and ex­pan­sion of coaches’ chal­lenges and what can be re­viewed by of­fi­cials.

In what prom­ises to be a busy an­nual meet­ing next week in Phoenix that will in­clude dis­cussing the Raiders’ po­ten­tial re­lo­ca­tion from Oak­land to Las Ve­gas, the 32 own­ers also will vote on chang­ing the me­chan­ics on re­play re­views and other items in­tended to re­duce down­time dur­ing games.

The Ea­gles pro­posed four rules changes, in­clud­ing abol­ish­ing the leap­ing tech­niques that league foot­ball op­er­a­tions direc­tor Troy Vin­cent said Thurs­day “don’t be­long in the game.”

Seat­tle and Buf­falo co-au­thored a pro­posal al­low­ing a coach to chal­lenge any of­fi­ci­at­ing de­ci­sion, whether a foul is called or not.

“That is a sig­nif­i­cant change to our cur­rent re­play rule and it is some­thing that will be on the floor and will be de­bated next week,” NFL of­fi­ci­at­ing chief Dean Blandino said.

An­other ma­jor change would be the re­duc­tion of over­time in-sea­son; the ex­tra pe­riod in the play­offs would re­main at 15 min­utes. The pow­er­ful com­pe­ti­tion com­mit­tee, of which Vin­cent and Blandino are mem­bers, be­lieve it’s a player safety is­sue, not­ing the num­ber of snaps for games go­ing to OT — es­pe­cially deep into the over­time — is ex­ces­sive.

“We don’t know where a team is go­ing to be play­ing the next week, it could be four days later,” said com­mit­tee chair­man Rich McKay, pres­i­dent of the Fal­cons. “We felt we should put an end to it. We don’t think it will lead to more ties. Could it? It could, but we are not con­cerned with that.”

As for chang­ing the for­mat of over­time to en­sure both teams al­ways get a pos­ses­sion — a pop­u­lar topic af­ter how the Su­per Bowl ended — Blandino said the league’s wants to keep the el­e­ment of sud­den death in the ex­tra pe­riod.

Dur­ing the meet­ings that run from Sun­day to Wed­nes­day, the teams will be shown plays the com­pe­ti­tion com­mit­tee be­lieves should re­sult in sus­pen­sions or ejec­tions. Game of­fi­cials al­ready have had the lee­way to eject play­ers, but it hap­pens rarely; there were three in 2016.

“We have 40,000 plays in a year. We’ll show a tape that will have four or five plays that would war­rant

sus­pen­sion,” McKay said. “This is not a wide­spread sit­u­a­tion.”

Vik­ings: Run­ning back Latavius Mur­ray, who left the Raiders as a free agent and signed last week with Min­nesota, had what the club called “suc­cess­ful” an­kle surgery. The Vik­ings said in a state­ment they were “aware of the re­quired surgery prior to sign­ing” Mur­ray, who got $15 mil­lion over three years with $8.55 mil­lion guar­an­teed, is ex­pected to fully re­cover and be avail­able for train­ing camp.

Rams: Signed quar­ter­back Aaron Mur­ray, a fifthround pick in 2014 who spent two sea­sons with the Chiefs be­fore fin­ish­ing last sea­son on Philadelphia’s prac­tice squad. Mur­ray is ex­pected to com­pete with Sean Man­nion to be the backup to Jared Goff.

Jets: Signed for­mer 49ers wide re­ceiver Quin­ton Pat­ton as a free agent. A fourthround pick of San Fran­cisco out of Louisiana Tech in 2013, Pat­ton set ca­reer highs with 37 re­cep­tions and 408 yards last sea­son.

At­tempts to block kicks by leap­ing over play­ers at the line of scrim­mage (as the Pa­tri­ots’ Shea McClellin tried in the Su­per Bowl) “don’t be­long in the game,” NFL direc­tor of foot­ball op­er­a­tions Troy Vin­cent said Thurs­day.

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