Photo By John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports


NFL team owners will converse over 10 potential rule changes for the 2018 season next week for the Annual League Meeting.

The Competition Comittee, made up of owners, general managers and head coaches, including Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Broncos general manager John Elway and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

Here are the rule changes that will be discussed:

  1. By Competition Committee: Makes permanent the playing rule that changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line.
  2. By Competition Committee: Changes standard for a catch.
  3. By Competition Committee: Makes the penalties for Illegal Batting & Kicking the same.
  4. By Los Angeles Chargers: Amends Rule 15, Section 2, Article 5 to add fouls for roughing the passer and fouls against players in a defenseless posture as reviewable plays in the instant replay system.
  5. By Washington: Amends Rule 15, Section 2, Article 5 to add review of personal fouls as reviewable plays in the instant replay system.
  6. By New York Jets: Amends Rule 8, Section 5, Articles 1-4 to change the enforcement for defensive pass interference.
  7. By Competition Committee: Authorizes the designated member of the Officiating department to instruct on-field game officials to disqualify a player for a flagrant nonfootball act when a foul for that act is called on the field.
  8. By Competition Committee: Conforms the amount of time in which a team must challenge a play if there is a television commercial break following the play in question.
  9. By Competition Committee: Eliminates the requirement that a team who scores a winning touchdown at the end of regulation of a game to kick the extra point or go for two-point conversion.
  10. By Competition Committee: If there is a turnover, a team may win an overtime game, even though it scores on its second possession.

By the teams

Teams like Washington and Los Angeles filled up requests in the rule changes. 

Being specific with their requests, the Chargers want referees to review roughing the passer penalties and hits on defenseless receivers. On the other hand, the Redskins want personal fouls in general to be reviewed by refs.

The catch rule

What the committee will likely find a resolution to is the catch rule. Through the recent years this has been a controversial call among referees, calling back catches like the potential go-ahead touchdown by Jesse James in the Steelers-Patriots game.

In essence, the new rule will give more leeway to the receiver for these tough catches down the line, which ultimately aims to satisfy most parties.

Ejecting players off replays

This is a big one. Instead of adopting NCAA’s targeting ejection rule, the NFL will attempt to discipline players with a replay on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that could result in an ejection.

Hiring assistant coaches before postseason ends

It seems like the NFL directed this new rule toward Josh McDaniels

If enacted, this proposition allows franchises to hire assistant coaches  during the postseason. It never seemed to be a big deal, until Josh McDaniels decided to stick with New England instead of becoming the Colts’ new head coach.

Other discussions not listed

New York Jets want to amend rules on defensive pass interference to make it a referee discretion of yards allowed after the penalty. However, it’s likely that the committee moves past this rule and doesn’t stick by it.

However, the committee could discuss protecting the quarterbacks after they slide on a scramble. This could penalize players that hit a quarterback who is in a sliding motion. 

Although helmet-to-helmet hits and national anthem sittings have been trending topics in the last season, it’s likely the committee stays far from the way-too-controversial topics until further insight is available.

Read the full proposed rule changes here

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