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Quick Kicks: Annual Meeting wraps up

The NFL's 2012 Annual Meeting at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach concluded Wednesday with its final piece of official business: voting on the proposed rules changes.


Fourteen items were submitted. Two were rejected, four shelved, the rest approved.

Notable new rules for the upcoming season include:

  • Playoff overtime rules, allowing both teams a chance to possess the football, will apply to the regular season as well. Sudden-death is thereby eliminated (unless the team receiving the ball first scores a touchdown on the opening drive) Certain turnovers will be reviewed automatically by the in-stadium replay official (to include runner out of bounds during fumble recovery, and incomplete rulings for backward passes)
  • Too many men on the field penalties now become dead-ball falls (such plays were previously allowed to continue, with a loss of time off the clock, an apparent benefit to the defense at the end of games, such as the Giants got in the last Super Bowl)
  • Illegal kicking of the football adds loss-of-down to the 10-yard infraction
  • Victims of so-called "crackback" blocks are now considered defenseless players and perpetrators are flagged for unnecessary roughness

The four items expected to pass, but not voted on in Palm Beach were:

  • Adopting one injured reserve spot for a player who can return during the season
  • Adding an extra game-day inactive spot for players with concussions, without reducing the 53-man roster (in effect, adding a 54th roster spot that particular week)
  • Expanding the year-round roster limit from 80 to 90 players
  • Moving the trade deadline two weeks later, from the Tuesday after Week 6 to the Tuesday after Week 8

All four need language amended, but according to Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay (pictured), they'll be voted on when the owners reconvene in May. It sounds like all four are likely to pass once refined in the interim.

The two proposals rejected were Buffalo's call for all instant replay reviews to be done by the replay official up in the booth, and Pittsburgh's suggestion that the 15-yard penalty for horse-collar tackles apply to quarterbacks in the pocket.

The remaining items that passed were housekeeping-type procedural moves regarding transactions for teams playing Christmas night games on days other than Sunday and Thanksgiving night games, as well as the rare Wednesday night opener for the Super Bowl champion Giants and Cowboys. Both teams will be allowed to practice beginning the prior Saturday. That game is usually on Thursday night before kickoff weekend, but the league decided to move it ahead one day so as not to conflict with President Obama's speech at the Democrat National Convention.

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