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NFL Adopts Seven New Rules For 2016 Season

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Goodbye chop blocks. Hello expanded horse collar area.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, we highlighted the 19 proposed rule changes the NFL was considering. Today, we learned that seven of them will be accepted into the rulebook for 2016:

  1. By Competition Committee; Permanently moves the line of scrimmage for Try kicks to the defensive team’s 15-yard line, and allows the defense to return any missed Try.
  2. By Competition Committee; Permits the offensive and defensive play callers on the coaching staffs to use the coach-to-player communication system regardless of they are on the field or in the coaches’ booth.
  3. By Competition Committee; Makes all chop blocks illegal.
  4. By Competition Committee; Expands the horse collar rule to include when a defender grabs the jersey at the name plate or above and pulls a runner toward the ground.
  5. By Competition Committee; Makes it a foul for delay of game when a team attempts to call a timeout when it is not permitted to do so.
  6. By Competition Committee; Eliminates the five-yard penalty for an eligible receiver illegally touching a forward pass after being out of bounds and re-establishing himself inbounds, and makes it a loss of down.
  7. By Competition Committee; Eliminates multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul after a change of possession.

The 15-yard line for extra points was adopted last year on a one-year trial basis. #1 makes it permanent...at least temporarily.

The third new rule is a big one. The league had still been allowing chop blocks as long as the blocker was the only one engaging the blockee. What was illegal was employing a chop block when the blockee was also being blocked high.

The horse collar area has been expanded to the name tape on the jersey since the movement it creates (and the potential for serious injury) is the same as actually grabbing the back collar of the jersey.

It's fitting that the NFL adopts a Chris Webber rule during March Madness with #5...

But keep an eye out for #6. That's going to be a huge one. No word on if it's reviewable or not which will be a mammoth fulcrum. Anyone remember the Michigan State-Nebraska ending last season?

And if #7 aint some rules gobbledygook...what a sport.