Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, gives a press conference during the NFL's Annual Meetings. [Photo via Ross D. Franklin/The Associated Press]

NFL Annual Meetings: What Just Happened?

Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, gives a press conference during the NFL's Annual Meetings. [Photo via Ross D. Franklin/The Associated Press]
Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, gives a press conference during the NFL’s Annual Meetings. [Photo via Ross D. Franklin/The Associated Press]
A possible future Los Angeles or Toronto team in the NFL, more controversy surrounding “Deflate-Gate”, and several rule changes were some of the major discussions that took place these past few days in Phoenix, Arizona, where general managers, coaches, and players met for the NFL’s Annual Meeting.

There were 23 rule proposals submitted by various clubs in the NFL, and Roger Goodell shed some light on some major events going on around the league.

To start off, here are some of the most interesting rule proposals that were submitted by various teams:

1.) Allow a coach to challenge any official’s decision, except scoring plays and turnovers. Also, make all fouls subject to review.

2.) Any penalty that results in a first down needs to be reviewed.

3.) Put fixed cameras on all boundary lines.

4.) Add a bonus field goal for one additional point after a successful two-point conversion.

5.) Both teams get a possession in OT.

The extra-point controversy (either moving it back or abolishing it completely) has NOT been voted on, but has been postponed until this May, so (maybe) you can expect to see a completely new table for the point system coming soon. The Competition Committee held a 30-40 minute discussion today about this rule, and are trying to find strategies to make the point system “more competitive.” However, all of the teams agreed that this needs to be more of a football play, and one way is to allow the defense to score.

Many of the owners also hoped the replay system was going to be changed completely, but the system will remain mostly the same. League spokesman, Greg Aiello, posted to Twitter that the only major change would be adding replay review for the game clock at the end of the second quarter, fourth quarter and overtime if more than one second is remaining.

Teams have also allowed for the investigation of fixed cameras and stadium video in replay systems. This will be officially decided at a later time.

The NFL voted down the push to allow each team a possession in overtime. The Indianapolis Colts have withdrawn their proposal for a bonus field goal for one additional point after a two-point conversion, resulting in a nine-point play.

The league has approved five safety rules including medical timeouts, protection of defenseless receivers, a ban on pushing teammates at the line of scrimmage, re-enforced standards of the peel block, and a new expectation for chop blocks. The NFL also passed the proposal of players declaring themselves ineligible and then lining up in the slot illegally, which made the Baltimore Ravens very happy:

Roger Goodell held his news conference Wednesday morning. which was sure to bring many questions. On the “Deflate-Gate” scandal, Goodell stated that “we have not put a time frame on the ruling,” and that the investigation will not be finished by the draft. Interesting…

Goodell also commented on the Browns’ texting scandal by stating that Troy Vincent was reviewing the material and, “we don’t want people breaking the rules.”

A decision on Greg Hardy has not been made yet, but one can expect a decision soon, as Roger Goodell stated, “we are trying to get as many facts as we possibly can.”

One of the most interesting topics from his press conference was the investigation into as many as twenty teams for “anti-tampering window violations.” There is no word of penalties yet.

Goodell also referenced the postponing of any decisions on a future Los Angeles or Toronto team and the expansion of the playoff system, emphasizing that, “we want to make the regular season more important”, while preaching, “doing it right” for long-term success.

Much has happened over the past few days that could make the league better in various ways. The new extra-point system that will be voted on in May will be interesting to say the least, and allowing the defense to score on these plays would absolutely make things more entertaining.

The proposal for adding cameras to all boundary lines should be a necessity, as it would allow the referees to have even more angles to view replays. However, a theory of mine as to why we do not have this rule yet is because this would be too costly for the league. Hopefully, the league can pick up a sponsor (perhaps Canon or Sony?) to get this proposal passed.

Some of the safety-enhancement rules are good, but others are impending on the game too much, such as the protection of defenseless receivers. I understand the safety concerns with football, and agree that there should be precautions taken, however, the players should be allowed to play the game as well. Intense tackles and stout defenses are what make the game so entertaining. The more you censor this, the less entertaining the league is going to be.

One last thing that will be interesting to look out for will be the “anti-tampering window violations.” Which teams are being accused? What will be the penalty?

Many interesting things are coming in the league, and the changes discussed these past few days will certainly will have an affect on the league this upcoming season.

Which potential rule change are you most excited for? Which one are you not excited for? Let us know in the comments section below!

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