The NFL is once again considering changing the PAT rules, and this time is appears that it is going to happen. Smart teams, like the Seattle Seahawks, will be the first to adapt and take advantage of the new rules.
The NFL owners are considering three very similar proposals.
- All three move back the PAT kick to the 15 yard line.
- 2 out of three proposals allow the defense to score on PAT attempts, whether it’s on blocked kick or fumble/interception return.
- One proposal would move the 2-point conversion line of scrimmage up to 1-yard line.
While the main purpose of the proposals is to make the extra point kick less automatic, there is a side effect that smart teams will be ready for. Two-point conversion attempts are going to become much more common. This is especially true in the (unlikely) event that the Eagles get their way and the two-point conversion line is moved up to one-yard line.
This will have a ripple effect through the entire roster. Stopping lots of two-point conversions will force teams to keep an extra run-stuffing DT on the roster. Keeping an extra DT, mans that another position will have to give up a roster spot.
For Seattle, that will likely come from the defensive secondary. The team will have to carry only eight defensive backs instead of their typical nine.
It also means that the demand for run stuffing defensive tackles, like Mebane, Rubin and McDaniel on Seattle’s roster, will increase around the league. Increased demand means it’ll cost more to keep them.
In a salary-cap league league like the NFL, spending more on one position means you have to spend less at another. It is impossible to predict that that will eventually shake out, but it likely means moving on from an offensive linemen like J.R. Sweezy or a linebacker like Bruce Irvin sooner than the team might like.
Ultimately, only time will tell how far the ripple-effect from these new rules will will reach. What we do know is that the smart teams will be out in front of the other teams in the league in how quickly they make their adjustments.
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