The Proposed NFL Rule Changes Are…

Each year at the NFL Annual Meetings there are a handful of proposed rule changes that the owners vote on. Some are major and can shake the landscape of the league and effect the way coaches game plan, and others are just little blips of common sense that aren’t really thought about until they come up during a game. After the jump, I’ll take a look at the six proposed rules and give my take on each.

I’ll be referencing this article for portions of my text.

1) Overtime Rule Expansion
Last year the overtime rules changed for the postseason, and made it so both teams would be guaranteed at least one possession in OT during the playoffs.

Essentially, the new playoff overtime rules would be in place for the regular season if this passes.

This should be a no-brainer. It makes no sense having two separate rules, so get this done so the coaches have a chance to acclimate themselves to the format.

2) Instant Replay Changes
There are two proposed replay rule changes. First, all replays will be reviewed up in the booth, no more referee going under the hood. And second, much like all scoring plays are now reviewed, the proposal would make all turnovers an automatic review.

These are another couple that should pass. Going under the hood is a waste of time, and turnovers are so critical to the game that they need the same review as scores.

3) Trade Deadline
The proposal is to move the deadline back to week 8 instead of the current week 6.

I hope this passes, and I wish this would be pushed back even further. Few teams are truly out of it by week 8, a team sitting at o-8 yes, but a 3-5 team still has hope. Why not let a team make moves for the future, when their present is so shaky. From;

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the deadline got pushed back even further (Week 10?) down the line. The NFL trade deadline is usually a snore.

4) Roster Exemptions
This is another 2 parter;

There is a proposal to add one injured reserve exception. Every team would essentially get to designate one player every season to bring back from IR. The player would have to be on the roster through the first weekend of the season, then sit out at least eight weeks total. They could return to practice in six weeks.

I don’t like this one. I’ve long been a proponent of a revised injured reserve in the NFL, even tackling the subject in a previous We Got This Covered article. I guess this would be a good start, I just hope the competition committee takes a long hard look at other options.

Another proposal will allow each team to pick one player per week that has a concussion to go on the inactive list and be replaced on the active roster.

With football being so aware about the dangers of head trauma, this rule should pass. The NFLPA would love this as it’s basically a roster expansion by one for each team.

5) Expanding Off Season Rosters
This proposal will push the number of an off season roster to 90 from 80, but unsigned draft picks will now count towards the 90.

This should pass, as it’s one of those that won’t really effect teams. A team starts with 7 draft picks anyway, so the number of extra spots will be minimal.

6) Too Many Men On The Field
This is another in a long line of ‘New England Patriot’ rules. After the Super Bowl flag against N.E., they wanted the rule changed from an encroachment type foul to a deadball foul. College football currently calls this a deadball foul.

It will only be a deadball foul, however, if a team lined up 12 defenders. The play clock will continue to run if a player is trying in vain to get off the field, like in the closing moments of the Patriots-Giants Super Bowl.

This is a minor, sensible tweak that may almost never come up in practice. Teams will be prevented from intentionally wasting time by lining up 12 defenders.

This rule should pass, it makes sense. Fans will cry foul over the fact that the Pats proposed it, but it’s a solid change.

What do you guys think about the new rules? Let us know in the comments.

About the author


Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.

Lester has been a writer and now an editor of Windy City Gridiron since 2009 covering all things Chicago Bears. He's been writing about sports, and occasionally crossing into the entertainment genre, on We Got This Covered since March of 2011.