What to expect from the NFL's annual league meeting
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Two months after the infamous no-call that took place during the NFC Championship Game, team owners will convene at the NFL's annual league meeting beginning Sunday to settle rule change proposals, including a potential revision to the replay system.

Each proposal needs 24 yes votes in order to be approved.

Here's what's on the agenda for debate:

Expanded replay system

Ever since Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman ran into New Orleans Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before the ball arrived late in the conference title game, the league's competition committee has contemplated measures to ensure such an event won't happen again.

In his first public statement since the controversial decision, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said a penalty should have been called and that the league would "look again at instant replay."

Beginning Sunday, the competition committee will consider a one-year trial during which pass interference and limited personal fouls would be reviewable, but only on plays where a flag is thrown.

There remains little appetite among committee members to allow replays for plays that aren't penalized or to make judgment calls reviewable. Therefore, the missed call in the NFC title game would not have been reversed under these proposed changes.

Other proposals for expanding replay have included adding a video official - or skycam - to officiating crews. The Washington Redskins have also proposed making all plays subject to coaches' challenge or officials' review.

There are seven team-submitted proposals on the table, yet making pass interference and some personal fouls reviewable seems to be gaining the most steam.


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The NFL's other conference championship game also ended in controversy.

The New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs went to overtime with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line and only Tom Brady and the Pats' offense possessed the ball.

As a result, the Chiefs are proposing a rule change that, in the future, would allow both teams at least one offensive possession in overtime, whether or not the first team scores a touchdown. It would lessen the importance of the overtime coin toss.

It's unlikely the NFL would make such a drastic change to its overtime setup as a result of the Chiefs' inability to get a stop in crunch time.

Onside kick

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It's become nearly impossible for teams to execute a successful onside kick thanks to the NFL's efforts to make the play safer.

The percentage of successful attempts dropped from 21 in 2017 to 7.5 in 2018.

An alternative to the onside kick proposed by the Denver Broncos would allow the losing team a chance to keep possession after scoring.

The AAF incorporated such a rule where teams can attempt to convert a fourth-and-12 play to remain on offense.

While exciting, it may be too stark a departure from traditional rules to receive NFL approval just yet.

Blindside blocks

One proposal that appears to have very little pushback from owners and executives is the elimination of the blindside block.

Currently, only blindside blocks to the head and neck are deemed illegal. The league will consider taking it one step further and doing away with the hit entirely.

Raiders in Oakland

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It appears the Raiders finally have a home for the 2019 season.

On Tuesday, the Alameda County board of supervisors approved a lease agreement to let the Raiders play out of the Oakland Coliseum for one more year before they move to Las Vegas in 2020. It was then approved by Oakland City Council on Thursday.

The timing of the approvals was essential, as the league needs to begin working on the 2019 schedule.

Keeping the Raiders in Oakland another year requires final approval by NFL owners. There should be little opposition as the franchise is lacking short-term alternatives.

Group celebrations

It was reported in February that the NFL is considering reining in celebrations ever so slightly.

While touchdown dances and group demonstrations are now permitted, the league is considering barring players from leaving the sideline to join in the festivities.

Discussions about this rule have subsided of late, but if the proposed change is passed, overexuberant teams would face a 15-yard penalty.

Robert Kraft

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's arraignment on charges of soliciting prostitution was originally scheduled for the final day of the league meeting. It's since been pushed back to March 28, the day after the gathering concludes.

Whether or not Kraft is present in Phoenix, he figures to be a subject in the owners' discussions, as he could potentially face league discipline.

Even if the topic isn't on the official agenda, it's quite possible that his name comes up behind closed doors.

What to expect from the NFL's annual league meeting
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