NFL announces 2019 playing rules proposals

The NFL Annual Meetings kick off Sunday in Arizona and last until Wednesday. The meetings are a time for the league’s owners, presidents, general managers and coaches to get together to discuss matters of the league and vote on any changes to the rules, bylaws or league resolutions.

One of the big topics of discussion at this year’s meeting will be the expansion of replay for one year to include penalties for pass interference, roughing the passer, personal fouls and unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture.

The pass interference part of this proposal is a particularly hot topic after the controversial no call in the NFC Championship Game between New Orleans and Los Angeles on an obvious penalty that wasn’t called. If it had been called, it could have potentially changed the outcome of the game.

“People have very passionate views about replay,” Atlanta Falcons President & CEO and Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay said in a conference call Friday.

“We know how tough replay is to get 24 votes for a league that from 1992 to 1998 didn’t have replay, and the reason we didn’t is we couldn’t get 24 votes, even on one-year proposals. Replay is difficult. We welcome the discussion. The interesting thing will be, can we come together around 24 votes to expand replay? We feel like this is a good way to expand it because we have data that shows these are the most impactful plays and the ones that we can change, but we’ll be interested to hear where the membership is.”

There are also some proposals on the docket to change overtime rules and the onside kick, and to add an eighth official to current seven-man officiating crews.

The Philadelphia Eagles proposed a resolution to continue the annual tradition of having Dallas and Detroit play on Thanksgiving, provided that one of those teams host a home game with the other club playing away, and alternating home and away games each subsequent season. The Eagles eventually withdrew that proposal.

Here’s a full list of this year’s playing rules proposals, bylaw proposals and resolution proposals:

2019 Playing Rules Proposals Summary

1. By Competition Committee: to amend Rule 6 to make permanent the kickoff rule changes that were implemented during the 2018 season.

2. By Competition Committee: to amend Rule 12 to expand protection to a defenseless player.

3. By Competition Committee: to amend Rule 14, Section 5, Article 2 to change the enforcement of double fouls when there is a change of possession.

4. By Competition Committee: to amend Rule 11, Section 4, Article 2 to simplify the application of scrimmage kick rules for missed field goals.

5. By Competition Committee: to amend Rule 14, Section 2, Article 3 to allow teams to elect to enforce on the succeeding try or on the succeeding free kick an opponent’s personal or unsportsmanlike conduct foul committed during a touchdown.

6. By Competition Committee: to amend Rule 15, Section 2 for one year only to expand the reviewable plays in instant replay to include fouls for pass interference; also expands automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any Try attempt (extra point or two-point conversion).

6a. By Competition Committee: to amend Rule 15, Section 2 for one year only to expand the reviewable plays in instant replay to include all fouls for pass interference, roughing the passer, and unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture; also expands automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any Try attempt (extra point or two-point conversion).

7. By Kansas City Chiefs: to amend Rule 16 to (1) allow both teams the opportunity to possess the ball at least one time in overtime, even if the first team to possess the ball in overtime scores a touchdown; (2) eliminate overtime for preseason; and (3) eliminate overtime coin toss so that winner of initial coin toss to begin game may choose whether to kick or receive, or which goal to defend.

8. By Denver: to amend Rule 6, Section 1, Article 1 to provide an alternative to the onside kick that would allow a team who is trailing in the game an opportunity to maintain possession of the ball after scoring.

9. By Washington: to amend Rule 15, Section 2 to subject all plays that occur during a game to coaches’ challenge by teams or review by the Officiating department in the instant replay system.

10. By Washington: to amend Rule 15, Section 2, Article 5 to add review of personal fouls as reviewable plays in the instant replay system.

11. By Kansas City: to amend Rule 15, Section 2, to add review of personal fouls (called or not called on the field) as plays subject to coaches’ challenge in the instant replay system.

12. By Carolina, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia, and Seattle: to amend Rule 15, Section 2, to add review of designated player safety-related fouls (called or not called on the field) as plays subject to coaches’ challenge in the instant replay system.

13. By Philadelphia: to amend Rule 15, Section 2, to add scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul to be subject to automatic review in the instant replay system.

14. By Denver: to amend Rule 15, Section 2, to add all fourth down plays that are spotted short of the line to gain or goal line to be subject to automatic review in the instant replay system.

15. By Denver: to amend Rule 15, Section 2, to add all Try attempts (Extra point or Two- point conversion) to be subject to automatic review in the instant replay system.

16. By Competition Committee: to amend Rule 15, Section 1, Article 5 to allow League personnel to disqualify for both flagrant football and non-football acts.

2019 Bylaw Proposals Summary

1. By Buffalo: to amend Article XVII, Section 17.4 to liberalize the rule for reacquisition of a player assigned via waivers.

2. By Competition Committee: to amend Article XVII, Section 17.1 to provide clubs with more roster flexibility during training camp.

3. By Competition Committee: to amend Article XVIII, Section 18.1 to provide teams more effective access to players during the postseason.

4. By Competition Committee: to amend Article XIV, Section 14.3(B)(8) to make the tie-breaking procedures fairer for the selection meeting.

5. By Competition Committee: to amend Article XVII, Section 17.1 to provide additional roster spots during the preseason.

6. By Competition Committee: to amend Article XVII, Section 12.3 to offer more roster flexibility.

2019 Resolution Proposals Summary

G-1. By Competition Committee: to amend the Anti-Tampering Policy to permit an interested club to contact a Vested Veteran before clubs have been notified of the player’s termination via the Player Personnel Notice if (i) the player is not subject to the Waivers System and, (ii) the employer club has publicly announced the player’s release.

G-2. By Washington: to amend current League practices regarding teams’ post-game officiating inquiries and allow opposing teams to receive the League’s post-game responses to any officiating inquiries submitted by either team.

G-3. Withdrawn, By Philadelphia: to continue the annual tradition of having Dallas and Detroit play on Thanksgiving, provided that one of those clubs host a home game with the other club playing away, and alternating home and away games each subsequent season.

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