NFL Changes for 2017 Season

The NFL off-season has been underway for some time and new rule changes have come and gone. Let’s take a look at some of the new rules that have been changed and some that are still being discussed.

First, we will take a look at the rule changes that have been passed and what that means for the next season. The NFL owners have approved the change of overtime from a 15 minute quarter to 10 minutes. Their reasoning for these changes are as follows, “The proposal was made with safety in mind in that the shorter OT period would limit extra snaps,” via ESPN. Last season six overtime games lasted longer than 10 minutes, the second most in NFL history. The changes may end up resulting in more ties which, in turn, hurt teams when it comes to playoff chances.

*Update: NFL Owners also vote to push back Los Angeles Rams hosting Super Bowl 55 in 2021 to Super Bowl 56 in 2022, due to due to stadium delays.

The next set of rules that have been changed are in regards to the NFL roster cuts. After the final preseason game, teams will now cut the roster from 90 players down to 53. The previous rule was that after the 3rd preseason game, teams would cut down to 75 and then to 53 after the final game. This rule change allows more players to have a shot at making the final 53 man roster and being able to live out their dream on an NFL team. The challenge with this is, teams and coaches will have a harder job informing players of their departure and this may result in players finding out they are cut from outside sources instead of the team.

A rule that is expected to go into effect will be the NFL relaxing its stance on celebrations. The rule currently has banned almost all celebrations which has led to more penalties and fines during the season last year. The different celebrations that will be allowed are ground celebrations and celebrations in groups. Players will also be able to use the football to celebrate. Roger Goodell stated, “We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown and players have told us they want more freedom to be able to express themselves and celebrate their athletic achievements.” Oveall, this will be good for a league that has been dubbed the “No Fun” league. More fans will enjoy the game and will celebrate along with the players. Some celebrations will still be outlawed. Goodell said, “Offensive demonstrations, celebrations that are prolonged and delay the game, and those directed at an opponent, will still be penalized.” So sadly no twerking for you, Antonio Brown.

 

An unofficial rule change that is set to be voted on by the owners this week is based around exempting players on a roster who have been diagnosed with a concussion. Under this rule, “A team would be permitted to place a player who has been diagnosed with a concussion on the exempt list and replace him with another player on a game-by-game basis until the concussed player is cleared to return” via Tom Pelissero, USA Today Sports. The rule is unlikely to be put into place without further discussion of the topic. The fact that it was brought up this  year in the meetings will allow for discussion the rest of this year and could be introduced and voted in next year.

The NFL will also be looking to curve betting, in stadiums, with the addition of the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders are set to move to Las Vegas in 2019 but it may be later due to  delays. With the city of Las Vegas owning, and the Nevada Gaming Commission setting the gambling laws for the state, Raiders Stadium attendees will be allowed to bet inside the stadium using both gambling apps and live bets. The NFL will be looking to try to change this rule but they must go through the NGC in order to have anything changed. The Chairman of the NGC, Tony Alamo stated, “The NFL has not approached me for any policy decision. The Nevada Gaming Commission is the policy maker for the state of Nevada and gaming, and they have not approached us in any shape, way or form.” via ESPN.