...one of the options being considered for replacing kickoffs entails giving the ball to the team that would have been kicking off at its own 30, automatically facing a fourth down and 15 yards to go. The team can then choose to punt or go for it, via fake punt or otherwise.
In other words, the kickoff would be replaced with the punt, and the onside kick would be replaced with a fourth-down conversion attempt (deep in your own territory).
It's kind of funny that when they moved the kickoffs up before last year, Bill Belichick said the league might just look into eliminating the kickoff return, since with better kickers these days, and moving up the kickoff, it has become a non-play. I think Goodell at the time came out and said that, on the contrary, there was no thoughts about eliminating the kickoff return. Now a year and a half later he is saying something else!
Punting from the 30, you'd expect 40 yards net, so the opposition would on average get it at their 30, better position than they get now.
This seems kind of gimmicky to me... are punt returns really THAT much safer than kickoff returns that we have to change the essence of the game?
It's like college overtime rules, which just isn't really football, or how the game is normally played. Neither is a contrived 4th-and-15.