NFL owners table onside kick alternative proposal
NFL owners had their league-wide meeting Thursday and one of the topics of discussion was the possibility of allowing an alternative option to the onside kick.
The proposal included allowing a 4th-and-15 down from the team’s own 25-yard line in an attempt to retain possession. After a vote, owners decided to table the proposal and enter the 2020 season with only traditional onside kick methods in place, per Albert Breer of The MMQB and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.
NFL owners have tabled the 4th-and-15 alternative to the onside kick, I’m told. Further discussion needed.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 28, 2020
This one did go to vote, by the way, and was voted down. So it's possible it comes back to life down the line, but it's a no for now. https://t.co/HsMC5FAkyR
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 28, 2020
The proposal, which had been brought to the table by the Philadelphia Eagles as a means of establishing a new way for teams to regain possession of the ball in late-game scenarios, has been moved off for the time being, with “further discussion needed.” What could that further discussion be? Potentially extending the 15 yards needed for obtaining a first down or limiting the number of attempts at the alternate method stand out as explanations.
With the new proposal turned down for now, teams will be stuck with traditional onside kick methods for at least the 2020 year. It had been pointed out that explosive offenses may be able to exploit the new system, choosing to keep the offense on the field after a score, as opposed to teams that are less offensively-inclined and may be saving the scenario for last-ditch attempts at wimning.
The attempts at modifying kickoffs serves as yet another chapter in the NFL’s recent history of changing longstanding ways of playing the game. With the proposal escalating to the point of coming to a vote for owners to consider, it’s likely that eventually the league figures out a new alternative option for end-of-game scenarios.