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NFL makes minor rules changes for 2014

Mar. 26, 2014
 
Todd Edlebeck, facilities manager for the Green Bay Packers, works to level the goalpost crossbar in the south end zone of Lambeau Field in August 2006. File/Press-Gazette Media
Todd Edlebeck, facilities manager for the Green Bay Packers, works to level the goalpost crossbar in the south end zone of Lambeau Field in August 2006. File/Press-Gazette Media

ORLANDO, Fla. -- When all was said and done on Wednesday, the NFL made only minor rules changes that will take effect in 2014.

Owners voted to extend the uprights by 5 feet to make it easier for officials to determine successful field goals. A proposal to extend them by 15 feet was rejected due to cost and engineering reasons, according to Packers president Mark Murphy.

NFL owners also decided to conduct an experiment by moving the extra-point line of scrimmage to the 20-yard line during the first two weeks of the preseason, but there will be no change during the 2014 regular season. The two-week experiment will force kickers to make a 38-yard extra-point attempt.

According to Murphy, a proposal to move the extra-point line of scrimmage to the 25-yard-line during the regular season wasn't approved.

The success rate of current extra-point kicks from the 20-yard line was 99.6 percent last season. Murphy said the success rate of 38-yard field goals is around 90 percent, while 43-yard field goals is about 87 percent.

Murphy indicated the owners had considerable discussion about narrowing the uprights from the current 18 feet, but such a move isn't imminent.

NFL rule proposals at a glance

Here’s a rundown of how the various NFL proposals fared, as compiled by footballzebras.com:

Passed

♦ Extend goalpost by 5 feet to 35 feet.

♦ Two-week trial for 38-yard extra-point kicks in first two weeks of preseason.

♦ Roll-up blocks on sides of legs illegal.

♦ Allow league office to consult on replays.

♦ Recovery of ball in field of play (Navorro Bowman rule).

♦ Allow clock to run after sack.

♦ Simplify complex penalty enforcement spots.

♦ Move final roster cutdown to 3 p.m. from 5 p.m. CDT on Saturday after last preseason game.

♦ Allow teams to charge for playoff tickets only after team clinches home game.

Failed

♦ 38-yard extra-point kicks.

♦ Move kickoffs to 40-yard line.

♦ Personal fouls reviewable.

♦ Any official’s decision can be challenged.

♦ Allow only one roster cutdown date.

♦ Allow more than one player to return from injured reserve.

♦ Allow open testing and timing for draft prospects at team sites.

Tabled

♦ No overtime in preseason.

♦ Adding cameras to all boundaries.

♦ Eliminate 1-yard “pick/bump” zone.

♦ Increase game-day active roster to 49 players for Thursday/Saturday games.

♦ Increase practice squad to 10 players from eight players.

♦ Allow player trades prior to league year.

♦ Allow closed retractable roof to open at halftime.

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