Football is a complicated sport, and the environment of the NFL is ever-changing. Each year, the competition committee and teams can propose rule changes, and 2021 has some promising ideas.
Earlier this week, the league made it official that a 17th game would be added to the regular season. The move, obviously revenue motivated, was not popular with players.
Saints RB Alvin Kamara was amongst the notable players who publicly came out against the change. Taking his frustrations to Twitter, Kamara said, “Sh*t dumb…as hell.”
Today, the league sent out a list of proposals for rule changes ahead of the 2021 season. Any team can propose a new rule, requiring at least 24 votes from NFL owners to pass.
However, it is normally hard to get a rule passed without the support of the league competition committee, who also propose rule changes themselves.
‘Spot & Choose’ and Jersey Number Proposals
Although we’ll get into the complete list of proposals shortly, some of the more interesting ones include the Ravens’ proposed ‘Spot and Choose’ rule for overtime and the Chiefs proposing more leniency over jersey numbers.
The spot and choose rule would involve, in overtime, one team choosing what yard line the ball should be placed, and the other team choosing whether they want to be on offense or defense.
It’s certainly an innovative approach to overtime, but it’ll be tough to pass. It could be seen as ‘gimmicky’ and despite the flaws in the current OT system, this may not be the solution.
Another interesting rule that likely won’t pass is the Chiefs’ proposal to expand jersey number choices at certain positions. Ultimately though, the league is expected to live upto its reputation as the “No Fun League” here.
Amongst the rules proposed this offseason is one by the Chiefs that loosens restrictions on jersey numbers. Part of the proposal would allow RB, WR, TE, FB, LB and DB to wear single digit uniforms.
MAKE IT HAPPEN. pic.twitter.com/WPtgwpOg2P
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 1, 2021
List of All 11 Proposed Rule Changes
- By Competition Committee; to amend Rule 16, to eliminate overtime in the preseason.
- By Competition Committee; to amend Rule 6, Section 1, Article 3, for one year only, to establish a maximum number of players in the setup zone.
- By Competition Committee; to amend Rule 12, Section 2, Article 4, to expand the prohibition on blocking below the waist by offensive and defensive players on scrimmage downs when contact occurs beyond five yards on either side of the line of scrimmage and more than two yards outside of either offensive tackle.
- By Competition Committee, Coaches Subcommittee, and Baltimore; to amend Rule 15, Section 3, Article 9, and Rule 19, Section 2, to permit the Replay Official and designated members of the Officiating department to provide certain objective information to the on-field officials.
Proposals By Teams
- By Chicago; to amend Rule 11, Section 3, Article 3, to ensure the enforcement of all accepted penalties committed by either team during successive Try attempts.
- By Los Angeles Rams; to amend Rule 8, Section 1, Article 2, to add a loss of down for a second forward pass from behind the line and for a pass thrown after the ball returns behind the line.
- By Kansas City; to amend Rule 5, Section 1, Article 2, to expand jersey number options for certain positions.
- By Baltimore and Philadelphia; to amend Rule 16, Section 1, to change the options for winner of an overtime coin toss, and create a true sudden death format.
- By Baltimore Ravens; to amend Rule 16, Section 1, to change the options for winner of an overtime coin toss, eliminate sudden death format, and eliminate overtime in the preseason.
- By Philadelphia; to amend Rule 6, Section 1, Article 1, to permit a team to maintain possession of the ball after a score by substituting one offensive play (4th and 15 from the kicking team’s 25-yard line) for an onside kickoff attempt.
- By Baltimore; to amend Rule 19, Section 1, Article 1, to add an eighth official who is positioned somewhere other than the playing field, with full communication to on-field officials and access to a television monitor.