New York Jets propose a game changing rule that would impact the NFL greatly

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 20: A penalty flag (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER - SEPTEMBER 20: A penalty flag (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets have proposed a rule change that would be a game changer.

Lost in all of the free agency excitement is the fact that the owners meetings are coming up next week. The New York Jets and the rest of the league will be headed to Orlando, FL to talk about and go over all things NFL. It’s at these meetings that they run the gamut, including the possibility of rule changes. The Competition Committee meets to talk about and vote on rules that been proposed for the new season and potentially beyond.

Ahead of those meetings, the Jets have made a proposal and it is one that would change things for every team in the league (via Rich Cimini). The Jets have proposed a change to the pass interference rule. Under their suggestion, it would got from being a spot foul to being a 15 yard penalty. In layman’s terms, the ball would no longer be placed at the spot of the infraction, instead simply being moved 15 yards from the previous spot.

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Now, on its face it doesn’t seem like a big thing. On a personal note, being so used to the rule the way it is, it wouldn’t change much as far as how I watch the game. If they want to make the change, fine. If not, the game continues on the way it has been for as long as we can remember.

But the more you let that idea set in your mind, you realize that this is a change that if enacted, will be felt around the league and rather quickly.

You know how the receivers look up for a flag virtually every time they are the intended target on an incomplete pass? That might stop on the longer throws. If they jump up and go crazy and the flag comes out, it might not be as worth it to them for only a 15 yard penalty. It would amount to a lot of histrionics for what in effect is a personal foul infraction.

It will also change the mindset of both the quarterback and the wide receiver. Let’s look at the quarterback perspective first. Say your number one receiver is running a “nine” route 30-40 yards down the field, and you have a tight end open 15 yards up the seam. Do you risk throwing the bomb if he’s covered, knowing that PI is only 15 yards, or do you throw it short and hope the tight end takes it further? Changing that penalty likely brings in a different answer than the past.

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The thinking/strategy of the receiver will likely change as well. Again say he’s 30 yards down the field. Here comes the pass and it is underthrown. With the old rule the receiver might stand there and let the defensive back run into him for the spot foul. However, if it’s only 15 yards the receiver might think it’s worth it to come back and make a legitimate play on the football.

That would be a good change because it’s currently like a basketball player standing still to take a charging call. Keep that on the hardwood. But no matter what, if this rule changes it will cause a definite effect around the league. It’s worth paying attention to in Orlando.