NFL.com- "Blocking field goals or extra points just became more difficult.
NFL owners passed a rule to prohibit players from leaping over offensive linemen during kicks, the league announced Tuesday. It was one of the several rule changes owners approved via a vote at the Annual League Meeting in Phoenix.
The Philadelphia Eagles proposed the rule change, which was backed by the NFL Players Association with player safety in mind.
"The jumping over on the field goal, I think, is just leading to a really dangerous play for everybody," offensive lineman Eric Winston, the NFLPA's president, said earlier this offseason, via the Washington Post. "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. So I'll be very interested to see what they'll do there. I think something probably needs to be done."
Defenders leaping from the second level over an offensive lineman, usually the long snapper, has led to exciting plays. Players like Seattle Seahawks Kam Chancellor have impacted games by blocking multiple kicks. Denver's Justin Simmons famously changed the outcome of last season's contest versus the New Orleans Saints by leaping over and blocking a would-be go-ahead extra point, which was returned for two points, giving the Broncos a 25-23 win.
Of the combined 41 blocked field-goal attempts and PATs in 2016, three came from players jumping over the line, per NFL Research. Seattle's Bobby Wagner blocked a field-goal attempt against the Cardinals; New England's Shea McClellin had a field-goal block against the Ravens and Denver's Justin Simmons stymied a Saints PAT try.
Many players might be upset with the rule change, but both the NFL and NFLPA endorsed it for safety reasons."
The NFL removing quite possibly the cheapest and most bullshit field goal blocking tactic of all time is the best rule change they've made this offseason. Of course watching Kam Chancellor create this trend by doing it the first time was awesome and was incredibly athletic move on his part. However, it has gotten completely out of control. A game earlier this season was decided because someone blocked a kick by doing this then returned it for 2 points off the extra point attempt. Now these special teams coordinators have players practicing it and it's becoming too easy and once they're over there's no stopping them. I'm glad the NFL nipped this in the butt before it got too big because then it would've been a much bigger issue. It's already hard enough for these kickers to make the extra points now that they're moved back and field goals of 40+ yards are always uncertain of going in, so why make it any harder than it already is.
The NFL and NFLPA saying that is a safety concern though, total bullshit. In a sport that full grown men get a 40 yard head start running down the field to collide with other grown men running full speed, and a little game leap frog is all of the sudden a huge safety concern. Shut the hell up, no one wants a game of leap frog deciding football games, that's the real reason this rule change was needed. First of all, these guys jumping over the line to block the kicks are incredible athletes, them not being able to vertically jump over a crouched over man shouldn't be much of a physical test. I'm pretty sure if they couldn't make it they wouldn't do it, so the safety thing is complete garbage. The only safety concern should be for the kicker or place holder that is just a sitting duck for whatever physical specimen jumps over that line with a free shot at them. Good rule change by the NFL just a horrible excuse to back it up.