The NFL Owners meeting has concluded as the NFL has officially released rule changes for the upcoming season. Below are the official changes that will be implemented via the NFL Communications Department.
Approved 2017 Playing Rules Proposals
2a. By Philadelphia; Prohibits the “leaper” block attempt on field goal and extra point plays. (Final language will be available on NFLCommunications.com)
- By Competition Committee; Makes permanent the rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.
- By Competition Committee; Changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line for one year only.
- By Competition Committee; Gives a receiver running a pass route defenseless player protection.
- By Competition Committee; Makes crackback blocks prohibited by a backfield player who is in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped.
- By Competition Committee; Replaces the sideline replay monitor with a hand-held device and authorizes designated members of the Officiating department to make the final decision on replay reviews.
- By Competition Committee; Makes it Unsportsmanlike Conduct to commit multiple fouls during the same down designed to manipulate the game clock.
- By Competition Committee; Makes actions to conserve time illegal after the two-minute warning of either half.
Approved 2017 Bylaw Proposals
- By Competition Committee; Liberalizes rules for timing, testing, and administering physical examinations to draft-eligible players at a club’s facility for one year only.
- By Competition Committee; Changes the procedures for returning a player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness to the Active List to be similar to those for returning a player that was Designated for Return.
- By Competition Committee; The League office will transmit a Personnel Notice to clubs on Sundays during training camp and preseason.
Approved 2017 Resolution Proposal
G-4. By Competition Committee: Permits a contract or non-contract non-football employee to interview with and be hired by another club during the playing season, provided the employer club has consented.
The most notable change is the fact that players will no longer be able to leap over the center on field goal attempts. The fear of injury was the motivation for this new rule. 3 players successful did so in 2016. NFLPA’s president Eric Winston had this to say on the change to no longer allow defenders to leap over the center.
“The jumping over on the field goal, I think, is just leading to a really dangerous play for everybody,” offensive lineman Eric Winston, the NFLPA’s president, said earlier this offseason, via the Washington Post. “If you jump over the center, the jumper is in a really bad spot. He can land on his head. I think the guys that are getting jumped over are going to end up getting hurt, with those guys landing on them. So I’ll be very interested to see what they’ll do there. I think something probably needs to be done.”