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The Run-Down on Orlando Owners Meetings

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On Sunday, the annual owners meetings commenced at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, FL. The meetings will last for three days.

Here is a run-down of what is to be discussed:

Overtime Rule Change:

  • After many complaints over the years regarding the current overtime rules, there is finally talk of change.
  • Proposed Rule Change: The team that loses the coin toss would get a possession unless a touchdown is scored on the first possession. This would try to ensure fairness for both teams. Afterward, if the game was not decided following this series of events, sudden-death overtime would ensue.

Collective Bargaining Agreement:

  • The league is entering the final year of its Collective Bargaining Agreement. With no salary cap or floor in place, teams have been looking for ways to trim costs in order to spend more money on free agent acquisitions. As it stands right now, NFL players and owners are far from striking a deal. 
  • While there is no proposed vote, this is surely an issue that will be discussed as owners will look to come together and collectively agree on issues. Next March is when the current deal expires, and that's when the real deadline is. Still, this will be a hot topic that will be discussed in meetings this week.

Head Injuries/Concussions

  • The NFL is aware how serious of an issue concussions have become and how players need to be protected. The Union has even formed its own committee on head injuries.
  • As hard as it is to define "defense-less" hits, that's what owners will be attempting to do. Furthermore, they will be looking to discourage these types of hits via steep penalties in an effort to do away with them.
  • Proposed Rule Change: The owners will vote on a proposal from the competition committee to expand upon the definition of what is "defenseless" after a player catches a football. They are also discussing the possibility of ending a play once an athlete loses their helmet.
  • John Madden's coaches committee has suggested reducing the number of days that players are required to participate in off-season practices. There is no confirmation as to whether or not this suggestion will be discussed.

HGH Testing:

  • While there's no "proposed" vote on HGH testing, the two sides may discuss revising the drug policy currently in place. In January, the league made a proposal to the players' union to test for HGH. Unfortunately, an agreement was never reached.

(source: Washington Post article here)