New Rules for a Catch Approved by NFL Owners

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NFL owners approved rules changes defining what is a catch on Tuesday, hoping to eliminate much of the controversy and confusion that plagued the league in recent years, the Associated Press reports.

In simplifying the language of the rule, as recommended by the competition committee, the new standards require three elements:

—having control of the ball;

—getting two feet down or another body part;

—making a football move, such as taking a third step or extending the ball.

The committee cited overturned receptions by tight ends Jesse James of the Steelers and Zach Miller of the Bears last season, and went back to similar negated catches by Dez Bryant of the Cowboys and Calvin Johnson of the Lions in previous seasons.

Also approved was making permanent spotting the ball at the 25-yard line after a touchback on a kickoff; allowing players on injured reserve to be traded; and authorizing a designated member of the officiating department to instruct on-field game officials to eject a player for a flagrant non-football act when a foul for that act is called on the field.

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Officials at NFL Office Can Now Eject Players During a Game

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Officials at the NFL office will now have the ability to eject a player who commits “a flagrant non-football act,” if a foul for that act is called on the field, Kevin Seifert of ESPN reports.

The rule to allow in-game ejections from the league’s officiating office was designed to address egregious hits last season by New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans in separate incidents.

Both were penalized 15 yards, but referees declined to eject them. Referees will retain the authority to eject players as necessary.

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Johnny Manziel Doesn’t Want His Comeback Compared to That of Colin Kaepernick

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Former Texas A&M and Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel badly wants another chance in the NFL but he is “tired” of people comparing his comeback attempt to Colin Kaepernick according to Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report.

Manziel posted a message on Twitter with his thoughts on the subject: “This will probably cause an uproar, but I’m tired of the @Kaepernick7 vs myself comparisons and anger. Kap is doing amazing things right now changing lives and donating millions of dollars. His impact off the field from a societal standpoint is legendary and straight admirable.” The 25-year-old 2014 first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns also tweeted it’s clear Kaepernick is not signed because of “non-football” reasons, saying “The guy took a team to the Super Bowl and continuously wreaked havoc on the NFC West and the league. Standing up for people who often don’t get heard and for a race that continually deals with problem after problem in this country for CENTURIES,” Manziel added. “This world we live in is absolutely crazy and I believe what he’s doing has an amazing impact.”

Maybe Johnny Football really has grown up. At least he is grown-up enough to understand that his own banishment from the NFL was due to off-the-field issues coupled with poor play. Manziel took part in the University of San Diego pro day on Thursday and plans to take part in the NFL Spring League, hoping to get an invite to an NFL camp.

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NFL Pass Interference Rules Expected to Stay As Is

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The NFL’s Competition Committee is hitting the breaks on momentum to change defensive pass interference to a 15-yard penalty, Kevin Patra of reports.

NFL Network’s Judy Battista reported Thursday the committee is not in favor of changing the spot foul to a standard 15-yard violation and is not expected to recommend approval to owners at next week’s Annual League Meeting.

Battista’s report comes after league executive vice president Troy Vincent told ESPN there was some “momentum” in discussing the rule change.

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The Seahawks Face A Difficult Transition

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Source: BleacherReport via Twitter

The Seattle Seahawks have signaled the end of the ‘Legion of Boom’ era by releasing Richard Sherman. The cornerback was a key cog in the unit that delivered the team’s first Super Bowl by defeating the Denver Broncos in the 2013 season. However, after seven seasons with Seattle, Sherman’s tenure was ended and he was quickly signed by bitter rivals the San Francisco 49ers.

Pete Carroll’s men also traded away star defensive end Michael Bennett to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fifth-round pick and wideout Marcus Johnson. The futures of Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor are far from certain due to injury, while Earl Thomas is reportedly available for a trade. Seattle are a team in transition and are in dire need of a strong 2018 draft to put building blocks in place for the future of the franchise.

The Seahawks were on course to become the new dynasty of the NFL. They were two yards away from winning back-to-back Super Bowls when positioned on the goal line against the New England Patriots. However, Malcolm Butler’s interception of Russell Wilson ended their dreams, and effectively end the Seahawks’ run of success with their core group of players.

The decision of Carroll to pass on the goal line rather than handoff to Marshawn Lynch irked the locker room in the aftermath and appeared to loom over the team for the past three seasons. Carroll and general manager John Schneider have decided to face the issue head on ahead of the 2018 campaign. Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner appear to be the only safe stalwarts of the Super Bowl side remaining on the roster. Both players will be the key elements of future success of the franchise, with the hierarchy pinning their hopes on the duo to help maintain the culture, although their prospects look bleak on for the 2018 campaign.

Source: SportingNews via Twitter

Seattle’s rise to the top began with the 2010 draft, with the addition of Thomas, while running back Lynch was acquired later in the campaign. Sherman and Chancellor would follow in 2011 before Wilson was added to the mix in 2012. The ‘Legion of Boom’s’ breakout game came in a win over the Patriots at CenturyLink Field, highlighting their potential, although their season ended in a defeat to the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs. However, following the signings of Bennett and Avril the club romped to the Super Bowl, defeating the 49ers in a thriller in the NFC Championship Game before crushing the Broncos in New York to win the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Although their defeat to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX denied them back-to-back crowns, there was still the possibility of a dynasty. However, poor drafting and a lack of clutch play knocked them out of contention, resulting in the club missing the post-season for the first time in five years last term. Schneider and Carroll have to get back to their best in the draft to rebuild the side emulating the steps taken to drive the Seahawks to their first crown. It will not be an easy transition and it may take a few seasons at least before the NFC West outfit are back in contention for the crown. With the Los Angeles Rams and the 49ers on the rise, the Seahawks could be on the outside looking in for the foreseeable future.

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