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NFL Announces Proposed Rule Changes for 2020

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The NFL has announced proposed rule changes for the 2020 season to be considered during the upcoming owners’ meetings.

Nine rules changes have been proposed in total, two by the Competition Committee and seven by individual clubs.

The Competition Committee has presented a change that would “prevent teams from manipulating the game clock by committing multiple dead-ball fouls while the clock is running.” The Tennessee Titans famously used this tactic in their upset win over the New England Patriots in last year’s Wild Card round.

They are also looking to expand the defenseless player classification to kickoff and punt returners in possession of the ball, but who have “not had time to avoid or ward off the impending contact of an opponent.”

The Philadelphia Eagles proposed four different rules changes, the most of any teams. First, they are looking to see automatic replay review expanded to scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul.

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Second, they have presented an alternative to the onside kick. The change would allow a team that is trailing the chance to keep possession by converting a 4th and 15 from the 25-yard line. Onside kicks have been under scrutiny in recent years for their impact on player safety and overall success.

Philadelphia also wants regular and preseason overtime restored to 15 minutes with changes implemented that minimize the impact of the coin toss, as well as an adjustment to the blindside block rule.

The Miami Dolphins suggested that the defense have the option to start the game clock on the referee’s signal if “the defense declines an offensive penalty that occurs late in either half.”

The Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers both presented the same two rule changes dealing with officiating. The clubs want to add a “booth umpire” as an eighth official and a Senior Technology Advisor to the Referee as an assistant to the crew.

For rule change proposals to be adopted, 75 percent of the owners must vote in approval.

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