No matter what else they do in their Pro Bowl and All-Pro careers, no one will be able to say Kam Chancellor and Bobby Wagner didn’t make their marks on the game.
The NFL’s owners on Tuesday at the league meetings in Arizona passed a rule change that makes leaping over offensive linemen during field goals and extra-point tries illegal.
It’s the Anti-Kam-Chancellor-and-Bobby-Wagner Rule. Both Seahawks defenders have successfully – and impressively – pulled off the athletic marvel during games in recent seasons. Chancellor famously blocked two kicks by Graham Gano to help turn a playoff game against Carolina in Seattle’s favor in January 2015.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Wagner did it last season at Arizona.
Chancellor and Wagner, of course, weren’t thrilled about the new rule.
The Broncos and Patriots also pulled it off last season; Denver won’t a game with a blocked PAT it returned for two-points late at New Orleans.
Though there are no known instances of players getting hurt leaping over the line to block a kick, the league says the play is now illegal because of concerns over player safety.
The NFL Players Association agrees. It endorsed the rule change, which the Philadelphia Eagles formally presented to the league’s competition committee as a proposal. The competition committee recommended passage to the owners, who did that with Tuesday’s vote.
Offensive lineman Eric Winston, president of the players’ union, told the Washington Post early this month: “The jumping over on the field goal, I think, is just leading to a really dangerous play for everybody. If you jump over the center, the jumper is in a really bad spot. He can land on his head. I think the guys that are getting jumped over are going to end up getting hurt, with those guys landing on them.”
Other rule changes voted on at the league meetings Tuesday:
▪ The NFL passed a rule for automatic ejections for what its game officials deem egregious hits to the head, according to NFL Network. It’s similar to a targeting rule in college football.
That’s not going to be controversial or anything.
Wagner doesn’t like that one, either. No surprise, coming from a hard-hitting middle linebacker.
Last year, a player was automatically ejected after committing two personal fouls in the same game.
▪ Because nine teams opposed it, the league reportedly tabled a proposal to shorten overtime periods to 10 minutes, from 15. It will the discussed at a later date.
Many teams fear such a change would lead to an increase in games like this from last November, the most thrilling, awful game in Seahawks’ history.
▪ Washington’s long-shot proposal to place the ball at the 20-yard line for a touchback instead of the 25 if a kickoff goes through the uprights failed.