The NFL announced its offseason schedule Friday afternoon. These are the dates to know for the 49ers:
First day of phase 1:
Mandatory mini camp:
In an ideal world, Trey Lance is ready for phase 1 and takes the reins of the offense throughout the summer. We’ll be sure to track Lance’s progress as we get closer to the start of OTAs.
Potential rule changes
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the NFL competition committee added several proposed rule changes for the 2023 NFL season to go along with those submitted by NFL teams. There were a total of 17 items, including eight that came from the competition committee.
The NFL competition committee has presented eight rules changes proposals, including one that would put the ball in play at the receiving team’s 25-yard line if there is a fair catch on a free kick (kickoff and safety kick) behind the receiving team’s 25-yard line. pic.twitter.com/ukJeDBLn1A— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 23, 2023
One proposal that’ll be interesting to see the result of is that a touchback on a punt would now be placed at the 25-yard line, effectively penalizing punters for booming a kick out of the end zone.
College football changed their touchback rules back in 2012, where they placed the ball at the 25-yard line. And the NFL followed suit in 2018. Under this latest proposal, all touchbacks would come out to the 25-yard line.
Another proposal is related to kickoffs and kick returns. The competition committee wants any fair catch inside the 25-yard line to result in the ball being placed at the 25. The current rule is simple. If you fair catch a kick, the ball is placed at the current spot of the ball.
It feels like we are inching closer and closer to absolving kickoffs from the sport. And if Philadelphia had their way, the same would go for onside kicks.
The Eagles are also suggesting a way to tweak the onside kick rule. It’s a similar procedure they used in the AAF. Instead of on onside kick, their proposal was you must convert 4th & 20 at the team’s own 20-yayrd line.
If anybody has watched the XFL, I’d vote for the NFL to use the same extra point system. They have tiered extra points. You can go for one point from the two-yard line, two points from the five-yard line, and three points from the 10-yard line.
That are several suggestions for altering how replay is used. One proposal is to expand to allow teams more than two challenges in a game, while another would make failed fourth-down conversions an automatic review, much like a scoring play. The last thing we need is more replays to slow the game down and take the flow away.
There were several rule changes that called for the ability to review penalties under some capacity. One proposal is specific about roughing the passer, while another includes all personal fouls. Another proposal allows the replay official to be consulted on penalty assessment.
Owner’s meetings begin this Sunday and conclude Tuesday, so we’ll have a better idea about which rule changes get passed by the middle of the week.