PALM BEACH, Fla. -- All turnovers will be reviewed from the booth with no coaches' challenges needed and overtime periods in the regular season will use the same scoring rules as the postseason after NFL owners voted to approve those proposals Wednesday.
The replay official already reviews all scoring plays.
With automatic review expanded to turnovers, it won't be long before the booth makes all the replay calls, John Clayton writes.
With all turnovers now subject to review, it could lead to even more effective coaching challenges. According to ESPN Stats & Information, last season (the first with all touchdowns being reviewed), plays were reversed on 52 percent of challenges, the best rate over the past 11 seasons and 10 percent higher than in 2010.
The NFL rarely tinkered with overtime until two years ago, when the Saints won the NFC title by winning the coin toss to start the extra period, marching downfield and kicking a field goal.
The vote on adopting the overtime was 30-2.
An overtime in the regular season now will end on a team's first possession only if it scores a touchdown or the defense forces a safety. If the team kicks a field goal on its first possession, the opposing team also will get a possession. If it also kicks a field goal, the extra period continues.
Other rules changes: A team will lose a down for illegally kicking a loose ball; too many men on the field becomes a dead-ball foul; and a player receiving a crackback block is now considered a defenseless player and will result in a 15-yard penalty.
Not passed were proposals to have the booth official handle video reviews rather than the referee, and outlawing the horse-collar tackle made on quarterbacks in the pocket.
Given the NFL's concern with player safety, not extending the horse-collar rule seemed surprising. But competition committee chairman Rich McKay said the ownership "didn't think this can impact on player safety."
"The rule was developed for the open-field tackle when a defender has the chance to do something else (in making the tackle)," he said. "He's also able to use the runner's momentum against him. We didn't think that applied to the pocket, didn't see the injury risk."
The NFL has voted to make certain changes to the rules regarding overtime and reviewing turnovers. Are you in favor?
Several bylaw changes were tabled until the league meetings in May, including expanding preseason rosters to 90, designating one player suffering a major injury before Week 2 of the season as eligible to return from injured reserve, and moving the trading deadline back two weeks to after Week 8.
McKay expects them to pass at the next meetings in Atlanta.
"There were good ideas and suggestions, no resistance," he said. "We'll work on the language."
Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated the league's strong stance against non-contract bonuses such as the Saints' bounty program that got coach Sean Payton suspended for one year and cost New Orleans a $500,000 fine and two second-round draft choice. Goodell said the league will not allow any cash payments between players, whether the clubs are involved or not.
"It's not permissible and we are going to take that out of the game," he said.
Goodell expects to speak with players' union head DeMaurice Smith before the end of the week and hopes to have the NFLPA's recommendations on punishment for players involved in the bounties by then or soon after.
The NFL also will not be awarding the 2016 Super Bowl, its 50th, to any city this year. Goodell said he expects many bidders for the game.