We talked about the seven rule changes made at the NFL league meetings here. But there were also an unusually-high nine bylaws that passed, as well as one resolution, so we decided to break things up and cover those changes below.
9 NFL Bylaws That Passed
- Language to Make Draft Exams More Formal (#1): This bylaw was implemented last year as a one-year trial — it included workout language for draft prospects that attempts to “make the college scouting process more equitable for all clubs.” The change has simply now been made permanent.
- Waiver Rule Change (#2): This one still puzzles me a little after reading it, but the language for a team re-acquiring a player on waivers has been “liberalized” for a one-year trial run.
- Trading Players on IR (#4A): This is a unique one — if a player goes on IR after 53-man rosters are named, that player may be traded to another club and would then be eligible to go on that club’s “eligible to return from IR” list. This could come into play for bad teams with a good player on IR in the final year of their contract — that player could help a playoff contending team if they’ll be healed up by the end of the season.
- Eliminating the Waivers-IR Rule (#5): In the past, prior to rosters being reduced to 53 players, certain players had to be “waived” before they could go on IR with a “major” injury. Now, players with a “major” injury can go directly to IR. However, players with “minor” injuries will still have to clear waivers before going on IR.
- Timing of Playoff Waiver Rule (#6): In the playoffs, if a team waives a player, there is a 10-day claiming period. It has now been changed to 24 hours, solely because of Pat Shurmur. The Vikings waived a player in the postseason while Shurmur was their offensive coordinator. After Minnesota was out of the playoffs, Shurmur was hired by the New York Giants. Because it was still within the 10-day window, he, now as the Giants’ head coach, claimed the player and Minnesota was pissed.
- Games vs. Weeks for Return from IR (#9): The language for players eligible to return from IR previously said they could return in eight “weeks,” which caused an unfair competitive advantage if someone had an earlier bye week than someone else. Therefore, the “weeks” language has been changed to “games,” putting everyone on an even playing field for the rule.
- Injury Settlement Time Lengthened (#10): In the past, teams had five business days to work out injury settlements. That has been extended to seven business days now.
- Fairer Deadline for Reserve List Players (#11): Previously, players in certain reserve list categories (i.e. retired, did not report, etc) could not be re-instated within the final 30 games of the regular season. That gave TNF teams in Week 13 one extra game to make such a move, compared to teams that played on Sunday of Week 13. So now, instead of 30 days, the restriction simply kicks in for Week 13.
- Procedures for Military Obligations (#12): Provides clarity to roster procedures for players with military obligations.
1 NFL Resolution That Passed
- Early Contact for Veterans Being Released (#G-5): This is a one-year trial — if a club announces they are releasing a player, other teams may begin contacting the player to sign with them despite the fact that the NFL hasn’t officially listed the transaction on a Player Personnel Notice.
The other big news is that the Jets withdrew their proposal regarding spot foul vs. 15-yard penalties on pass interference, but it wasn’t expected to pass. SB Nation has a great summary with more information on some of the rule changes here.