The NFL has released proposed rule changes that will be up for a vote at next week’s virtual league meetings.

Most of the proposed rule changes involve kickoffs, clock management and replays.

The NFL’s competition committee submitted two rules proposals: One would expand protection to kick and punt returners who have possession of the ball but who have “not had time to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent.” The second would prevent teams from “manipulating the game clock” by committing multiple penalties to stop the clock.

Several teams proposed new rules, as well.

One interesting idea from the Eagles would give teams another option to retain possession after a score, instead of an onside kick. They propose giving teams who are trailing in the game an opportunity to go for a 4th-and-15 play from their own 25-yard line to maintain possession.

The Eagles also want to permanently expand automatic replays for any “scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul, and any successful or unsuccessful Try attempt.”

Both the Ravens and the Chargers proposed adding a “booth umpire” as an eighth official to the refereeing crew. Both teams also suggested adding a “Senior Technology Advisor to the Referee” to assist the officiating crew.

The Dolphins also proposed a rule that would give the defense the option to restart the game clock on the referee’s whistle if the defense declines a penalty “that occurs late in either half.”


To put any of these rules in place, 75 percent-- or 24-- of the NFL owners must vote in favor of the rule change.

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