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Report: Owners are expected to reduce overtime to 10 minutes

The NFL owners are reportedly expected to shorten overtime to 10 minutes, but the change will create unintended consequences.

NFL owners reportedly were expected to reduce preseason and regular-season overtime from 15 minutes to 10 minutes in March. They didn’t.

Now, according to Judy Battista of NFL Media, NFL owners reportedly are expected to reduce preseason and regular-season overtime from 15 minutes to 10 minutes in May. Hopefully, they won’t.

It’s a bad idea. A very bad idea. With the two-possession* rule, it will result in more ties. And it won’t necessarily result in significiantly fewer plays from scrimmage, since teams could move with a greater sense of urgency in a 10-minute overtime.

But the powers-that-be apparently are willing to welcome those complications in order, ultimately, to remove one of the arguments against short-week football. If teams won’t be playing up to 75 minutes on a Sunday before playing up to 75 minutes on a Thursday, no one can argue that Thursday football should be limited or scrapped because of this legitimate health-and-safety concern.

Instead, we’ll argue that overtime stinks because of the uptick in ties that inevitably will occur.

The better idea continues to be (and not just because it’s PFT’s proposal . . . wait, precisely because it’s PFT’s proposal) the implementation of a two-point conversion shootout. Each team goes for two, alternating the attempts, three times each. After that, it’s back and forth until someone scores and someone doesn’t.

And if the league wants to put an outer limit on the number of tries before calling it a tie, so be it. But even if the limit is, say, 20 snaps, ties will be few and far between -- and the total extra snaps always will be lower than they would be in a 10-minute overtime.