Saturday, February 24, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Changing extra points among proposals at NFL owners meetings

TAMPA

It is called football, after all. And no position in the NFL has seen more improvement over the past few decades than kicker.

Field goals are made 86.6 percent of the time. In 1970, that number was about 59 percent. Last season, there were 1,267 extra points attempted, and 1,262 were made.

That's a big part of the reason why the league's competition committee is weighing proposals at the owner's meetings, which begin Monday in Orlando, that would make extra points tougher. Narrowing the goal posts might not be far behind.

The Patriots proposed moving the extra point back to the 25. And the league said it would like to experiment with them at the 20 during one week of the upcoming preseason.

"I think there is that thought that with the extra point, you need to add a little more skill in to it," said Falcons president Rich McKay, co-chairman of the competition committee. "One of the ways to do it would be just the way New England proposed. You'd probably drop the success rate down to 90 percent.

"There are many options: the seven points (for touchdowns), the go for two. But if you want to stay with the traditional scoring, which is seven basically for a touchdown — six and a one-point — three for a field goal, two for a safety, then you've got to think about the fact that you want the one point still in the game."

Other proposals include:

• Allowing referees to consult with the officiating department in New York during replay reviews in hopes of improving speed and accuracy.

• Speaking of replays, the league wants to review fumble recoveries. It would amount to the NaVorro Bowman rule. The 49ers linebacker recovered a fumble in the NFC title game. But officials ruled the Seahawks recovered, and it couldn't be reviewed under current rules.

• The competition committee proposed allowing the clock to run after sacks.

• The Redskins proposed moving kickoffs from the 35 to the 40 to create fewer opportunities for a return (and, thus, limit injuries).

• Much has been made about a 15-yard penalty for racial slurs. But McKay said it falls under a current rule for abusive language and will be a point of emphasis.

GLENNON TRADE? The Bucs will not actively shop backup QB Mike Glennon. But if they acquire a rookie to pair with veteran Josh McCown, they expect there to be offers for Glennon.

After all, the third-round pick from N.C. State did throw 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a rookie. He might be a better option than quarterbacks drafted in the second and third round this year.

McCown gives the Bucs the luxury of not starting a rookie right away. But any rookie wouldn't have to be No. 3 if they received a good offer for Glennon.

WHAT'S LEFT: The Bucs have signed 10 free agents but still have work to do. A receiver — former Bear Earl Bennett is under consideration — kick returner and, perhaps, an offensive lineman or two make sense.

According to overthecap.com, the Bucs are $9 million under the salary cap. But they probably need to save some of that for an extension for DT Gerald McCoy as well as draft picks and players on injured reserve.

Said GM Jason Licht: "I'm run­ning out of allowance money."

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