Proposals: Shorten OT, ban ‘leaping’ on kicks
Owners will vote on several potential changes next week.
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.