NFL to experiment with extra-point kicks from 20-yard line
League will try it for 2 weeks in the pre-season
The NFL will experiment with extra-point kicks from the 20-yard line for two weeks in the pre-season this summer, but implementing longer PATs for the regular season has been tabled.
Team owners preferred to see how the longer extra points work in the first two weeks of exhibition games before making any decisions on a permanent switch.
On Wednesday, the owners also rejected proposals to move kickoffs to the 40-yard line and to allow more than one player to be placed on injured reserve, then return to the roster during the season.
Also rejected: subjecting personal foul penalties to video review; permitting coaches to challenge any officiating decision except on scoring plays or turnovers, which automatically are reviewed; and eliminating the first preseason cutdown to 75 players.
Adopted on the final day of the spring meetings were proposals to extend the length of the goalposts 5 feet to 35 feet to better determine if kicks are good; to no longer stop the clock on sacks; and to allow video reviews on plays with a recovery of a loose ball on the field even though the play had been whistled dead.
On Tuesday, the owners approved allowing referees to consult with the officiating department in New York on replay challenges, and they voted to ban rolling up on the side of the legs of a defender. The league also barred players from dunking the ball over the crossbar in celebration.
No vote on expanded playoffs
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says it's possible the playoffs could expand next season.
Goodell said Wednesday at the spring meetings that "it's not out of the question." He says he "wouldn't rule it out, but I wouldn't say that's the direction we're heading."
The owners discussed adding two playoff teams to the current 12, one in each conference. The topic is certain to come up when Goodell meets with the players union April 8, and again at the owners' May meeting in Atlanta.
Goodell adds that there was a "tremendous amount of interest in this, possibly even to the point of support." He believes it will make the late-season division and wild-card races even more compelling.
Adding two post-season games also would increase TV revenues.
As expected, no vote was taken on expanding the playoffs on Wednesday.
Tabled were proposals to raise the number of active players for games not played on a Sunday or Monday, except for opening week, from 46 to 49; raise the practice squad maximum from eight to 10 players; eliminate overtime in preseason games; allow trades after the Super Bowl and before the new league year begins in March; permit teams to test at their facilities 10 players who attended the NFL combine; place fixed cameras on the goal lines, sidelines and end lines to aid replay reviews; and call pass interference in the area 1 yard or less from the line of scrimmage, where it does not apply now.
Many of the tabled items could be reintroduced at the owner's May meetings in Atlanta.