The 2014 NFL owners meetings get underway today in Orlando, Florida, with a host of rule and bylaw proposals on the docket. There are multiple owners' meetings each year, but the March meetings are viewed as the "annual meetings" in part because that's when rule proposals are voted on for the coming season. Additionally, this series of meetings has general managers and coaches on hand. Most other owners' meetings do not have them present.
This week, we'll learn who gets what compensatory picks for the 2014 NFL Draft. The 49ers are expected to get a fourth round pick for the loss of free safety Dashon Goldson. The revelation of comp picks also means we'll know the exact spot of the 49ers fourth through seventh round picks. For the purposes of breaking down trade value charts, we will see clarification of that. Reminder, comp picks cannot be traded. It can make it easier to trade other picks, but comp picks cannot be part of such deals.
Reports indicate the picks will be announced Monday.
The big issue on the agenda is rule and bylaw proposals. The competition committee submitted a variety of proposals, from themselves and offered up by teams. The owners will vote on these this week, with a chance to implement them for the coming season.
Here is a list of the various rule and bylaw proposals up for consideration this week:
1. Move kickoffs to 40
2. Allow personal fouls to be reviewable
3. No OT in preseason
4. Extend goalposts 5 ft higher
5. Move the line of scrimmage for extra-point kicks to the 25. (Run/pass conversions from the 2)
6. Add 6 cameras to boundary lines to supplement TV network for replay
7. Allow a coach to challenge any official's decision
8. Extend roll-up blocks from behind to include such blocks from the side (adding "and from the side" to existing rule)
9. Connect the officiating command center to the field-to-booth communication relay
10. Recovery of a loose ball reviewable; also reorganize Article 4 & 5 to enhance understanding
11. Allow the clock to run after a quarterback sack
12. Pass interference can occur at or beyond the line of scrimmage, eliminating the 1-yard "pick" zone
13. Simplify enforcement points (no specifics, but generally complex situations like a defensive foul on a net-loss, fouls on change of possession)
1. Increase active roster from 46 to 49 for teams playing Thurs-Fri-Sat games
2. Increase practice squad from 8 to 10
3. Trade players prior to the start of the league year
4. Eliminate the preseason cutdown to 75, just have one cutdown to 53
5. Increase injured reserve/designated for return to more than 1 player
6. Expand teams' ability to do testing and timing at regional combines
7. Shift the roster cutdown to 53 to be 4pm ET instead of 6pm ET
We've already had one trade go down, with the Baltimore Ravens sending a fifth round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for center . I have to imagine the big discussion this week will involve Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson. He has been the center of rumors for the past couple weeks. With owners, GMs and coaches all on hand, any potential deal would likely be facilitated with discussions this week. That does not mean a deal will go down, but this week could grease the wheels. Or, it could move us a step closer to Jackson getting released.
I don't expect to see the 49ers doing any dealing this week, but a trade of DeSean Jackson could impact draft boards. Maybe it bumps a wide receiver down a notch toward the 49ers. Or, it prevents a certain cornerback from slipping to the 49ers. We'll never know for certain what a trade did to the draft board, but it's interesting to speculate.
Head coaches have mandatory media availability this week. AFC coaches will meet the press on Tuesday, and NFC coaches will meet the press on Wednesday. I don't expect a lot of substantial information to come from this, but it's always good to hear from Coach Harbaugh. Given that we're out of season, we might get some amusing quips from Coach Harbaugh.
Speaking of head coaches, we have a group shot of the coaches at the opening of the meeting. Jim Harbaugh remains easy to spot!