Eagles’ Proposed Alternative to Onside Kick Shot Down by NFL

NFL teams reject proposal for fourth-and-20 onside kick alternative

The NFL has once again rejected an alternative to the onside kick, despite it being proposed by the Eagles. This new rule would have allowed teams to line up their offense on the field on fourth-and-20 instead of kicking off, but it did not gain traction at a league meeting. Under this proposed rule, if a team scored a touchdown or field goal, they would have had the option to take the ball at their own 20-yard line and face a fourth-and-20. If they converted the fourth-and-20, they would have kept possession of the ball.

The NFL’s rules for recovering onside kicks have made it almost impossible in recent years, and there have been significant changes to the kickoff itself over time. As a result, alternative rules for the onside kick have become a recurring topic during offseason rule proposals. However, despite this proposal for an alternative to the onside kick being brought up repeatedly, it has never gained much traction with NFL teams.

Rich McKay, chairman of the Competition Committee, acknowledged that there is resistance to changes in traditional rules but stated that discussions about more onside kick alternatives will happen in the future. The league’s primary concern moving forward is deciding what to do with the kickoff itself as they consider shifting towards a low-impact kickoff rule similar to what was previously used in the XFL.

The league will need to determine its kickoff rules for the 2024 season before potentially revisiting any alternatives to the onside kick rules. For now, no changes have been approved.

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