NFL considering changes to extra points, replay

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is never afraid to make a bold move, and might make a few this offseason with a few possible rule changes.

The National Football League is constantly evolving, looking for new ways to inject life into a game that has been played at a professional level in America since 1919.

Whether it be unlimited substitution (1950), the re-positioning of the goal posts (1974), allowing offensive linemen to use open hands (1978), or the introduction of the two-point conversion (1994), the NFL has proved open to significant change.

Now, the debate is whether to abolish the extra point attempt after touchdowns, a play that has been practiced since the beginning of the league over 90 years ago. The main reason behind the movement of potential change is predictability. Since 2004, extra points have been successful 99.1 percent of the time.

In January, commissioner Roger Goodell spoke about the potential of going to a new system, per

"The extra point is almost automatic," Goodell said. "I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd (attempts). So it's a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play."

One idea centered around making each touchdown worth seven points immediately, while giving teams the option of going for another point on a play where you can either run or pass. However, you lose a point if the play is unsuccessful.

From this point of view, there are a couple more options that make sense. Make the extra point move back from being a 20-yard attempt to 30 yards. It's still high percentage, but certainly a more difficult kick especially in bad weather or pressure moments.

Another idea would be to branching off from what the NFL has batted around. Let a touchdown count as seven points, but should a team elect to go for an eighth point, have the play start from the 5-yard line. It would give the offense more space to work and thus open up more creativity instead of seeing either a draw or fade all the time.

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, part of the competition committee, talked about an idea he heard that makes the player who scored the touchdown kick the extra point, per Pro Football Talk.

"That would be something," Fisher said. "Every Saturday we play around and let our practice squad players try to kick a field goal, and I’ll tell you, it’s a sight to be seen."

Aside from extra points, the league is also discussing whether penalties should be reviewable via the challenge system in 2014. Many teams have complained about games turning on questionable calls by officials over the years, and this would be a way to get more calls correct.

All that said, this notion does not appear to have much legs. Fisher says there is little chance the replay system will be including penalties anytime soon, according to Pro Football Talk.

"We discuss replay every year," Fisher said. "I think we go back to the foundation of the replay system, it was designed to overturn an obvious error. We knew it was not going to be a perfect system, just from a time standpoint and a number of challenges standpoint. I think that will be discussed but I think it’s unlikely we move in the direction of penalties. That’s a hard thing to do. The only penalty that’s actually reviewable on the field is too many men on the field. I think once we look at penalties you’re asking for problems."

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