This year, the NFL will hold their annual meetings in Orlando in just about a month and there are many topics on the table up for discussion. Here is a look at things up for discussion that could be changed by next year.
- Playoff Expansion
This is a situation that is more of a matter of timing and not a matter of if it will happen. It is very likely that the NFL will add two playoff teams for the 2015 season. This means that there will be 14 playoff teams, out of the total 32. According to Peter King of MMQB, the league is leaning toward having one team in each conference getting a first-week bye in the postseason. That would create matchups of two teams against 7 seeds, three vs. six and four vs. five in the wild-card round. King goes on to say that there would be 6 wild-card games instead of four. There will also most likely be a Monday night game.
While there won’t any changes this year with the point-after, it’s still up for talks. There isn’t much momentum behind the argument to make a change even though one PAT is missed every 40 games, or so. But, league owners might consider moving the PAT line of scrimmage to the 25-yard line.
- The N-Word
There are talks surrounding eliminating the use of the N-word on the field. There most likely will not be a rule change instructing an official to pull a flag if they hear the word from a player. But, officials will be able to penalize for verbal abuse. this abuse could be racist or just simply foul language. The league wants to do this to promote more respect on the field.
The NFL has lately been scrutinized for singling out the N-word and not discussing penalties for other vulgarities. This is why they have expanded the rule to allow penalties for foul language in general.
- Replay Officiating
On the table is the topic of allowing VP of Officiating Dean Blandino to consult with referees on replays while they are on the field deciding how to call a controversial play. This decision would help prevent most bad calls, but it will not prevent them from happening altogether. This would act as a safety net though, should a call be so controversial that it needs another set of eyes from above the field.
For more on this story visit: Peter King, MMQB.Si.com