NFL Rejects Eagles’ Proposed Onside Kick Alternative: Will It Ever Fly in the 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 efforts by the Eagles to propose a new rule that would allow teams to line up their offense on fourth-and-20 instead of kicking off. Under the proposed rule, teams that scored a touchdown or field goal would have had the option to take the ball at their own 20-yard line and face a fourth-and-20. If the scoring team converted the fourth-and-20, they would keep possession of the ball.

Despite recurring discussions about more onside kick alternatives during offseason rule proposals, this particular proposal has yet to gain traction. Competition Committee Chairman Rich McKay acknowledged resistance to changes in traditional rules but stated that future discussions about more onside kick alternatives will occur. The NFL’s primary concern at present is deciding what to do with the kickoff itself, as they contemplate a shift towards a low-impact kickoff rule similar to what was previously used in the XFL.

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

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