Titans brass in Florida for NFL Owners Meetings

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BOCA RATON, Fla. — The NFL owners meetings formally kick off here on Monday, and cleaning up the game will once again be one of the hot topics.

NFL owners will consider 19 rules changes during the spring meeting.

Last week, the nine-man competition committee, chaired by Falcons president Rich McKay, met to determine what possible rules changes would be recommended to the owners.

One of the other potential rules changes that's already generated plenty of debate includes a proposal that a player could face automatic ejection for receiving two unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties in the same game.

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk will be at this week's meetings. Titans general manager Jon Robinson and coach Mike Mularkey will also be present.

"There's a lot of rule changes, a lot of proposals for rule changes,'' Mularkey said on Saturday from 104.5's SportsFest in Nashville. "For example, the extra point going back to the 15-yard line. Is that going to be a permanent change? That is one of them. Jon and I went through all the proposals, whether from office or playing rules (on Friday). There will be a number of changes that will be taking place based on what we see and some of the ideas either teams or the competition committee have brought."

In 2015, the ball was placed at the 15-year line on a one-year trial basis.

Mularkey and Robinson both said they're in favor of making the rule a permanent one. There were roughly five percent more missed PATs in 2015 (from 99.3 to 94.2) compared to the previous year.

"It brought a little more excitement,'' Mularkey said.

The NFL's competition committee is also asking for a total removal of the chop block from the game.

Among some other rules changes that will be considered:

• Eliminating overtime in preseason games.

• The NFL is proposing that touchbacks on kickoffs be placed at the 25-yard-line instead of the 20. McKay cited player safety as the primary reason in a conference call with reporters. Kickoff returns typically result in a higher percentage of injuries than other plays.

• There will also be discussion on eliminating the roster cutdown from 90 to 75 after the third preseason game, instead just having one cutdown day from 90 to the regular season limit of 53 the week before the season begins.

Robinson said on Saturday at 104.5's SportsFest event he's for delaying the roster cutdown.

"One of the (issues) I've been adamant about changing is the roster cutdown in August, from 90 to 75 on Tuesday before the final game on Thursday,'" Robinson said. "I think if we keep the rosters to 90 it gives those 15 players that you're going to release on that Tuesday another game to go out and get NFL experience, another chance to showcase their ability and maybe earn a contract, either with us, if they're fighting for a spot, or with another club.

"We lost NFL Europe and there's really not a developmental league for these players and this gives these guys a chance to go out for one more game at least and compete and play for a spot. If you times 15 by 32 teams, that's a lot of players who are out of work for that last football game.

"So I think that would help us from a league standpoint grow and work toward developing players."

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