The NFL owners will meet in May to vote on a number of rule changes for the upcoming 2021 season and beyond, including four proposed by the Competition Committee, which includes Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. The first proposed change deals with officiating, as the Competition Committee wants to allow the replay official and selected members of the officiating department to be able to provide on-field officials with “certain objective information.”
This means the league’s officiating department would be permitted to potentially step in and correct a call before it having to go to replay.
The Competition Committee is also looking to “expand the prohibition on blocking below the waist by offensive and defensive players on scrimmage downs when contact occurs beyond five yards on either side of the line of scrimmage and more than two yards outside of either offensive tackle.” They are also seeking to eliminate overtime in preseason games, which there will now only be three of due to the expanded regular season.
Lastly, they want to impose a one-year trial run permitting nine players in the setup zone on kickoffs. This change aims to make it easier for clubs to recover onside kicks, with success of the play having become more and more scarce in recent years. Changes proposed by the Competition Committee have a much better chance of being adopted than those put forth by individuals clubs, so there is a good chance we could see come of these adjustments next season. Rule change proposals require approval by 75% or 24 owners to be passed. Click here for a list of all the proposed rule changes set to be voted on by the NFL owners in May.