Moving into the NFL 2021 football season, the league’s competition committee has given the green light to six potential rule changes Thursday, April 1, 2021. A proposal to expand the use of replay for on-field officiating crews is also in play. This replay expansion has also been referred to as an eighth official or the judge in the sky.
Every year every NFL team has been given the right to submit new rules. This year the league sent out 13 new rules or bylaw changes to all 32 teams. Competition committee endorsement and 24 of the 32 owners’ approval are needed for any new rule change to be adopted. Debates and votes are scheduled for later this month.
Changes in NFL replay official’s involvement are up for expansion. This new proposal will broaden the replay scope to advise on possession, completed or incompleted passes, player down by contact, and ball possession.
The NFL’s Philidelphia Eagles have submitted for the second year their proposed rule change for onside kicks. Their proposal will give teams the option of a 4th-and-15 play from their own 25-yard line to keep possession.
If the team’s offense gains a first down, that team will retain the ball’s possession at the original spot. But if the offense does not convert on 4th and 15, the opposing team will possess the ball at the dead-ball spot.
Teams will only have this option twice within a game. But the option to go for an on-side kick is still in play. Other competition committee proposals include:
• The elimination of overtime in NFL preseason games.
• A significant restriction on blocking below the waist beyond 5 yards of the line of scrimmage and 2 yards outside of the offensive tackle.
• Prohibiting playoff teams from signing players who had been cut by teams whose seasons were complete.
Written by Omari Jahi
ESPN: More video review among potential NFL rule changes; by Kevin Seifert
NFL: 2021 Competition Committee and Club Playing Rules Proposals
NBC Sports: Eagles propose onside kick alternative, new OT rule; by DAVE ZANGARO
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Keith Johnston’s Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Scott Ableman’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License