A total of 19 rule change proposals will be hashed out at the NFL's Annual Meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, this week, which includes a new automatic ejection rule.
The proposed rule would call for a player who gets two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties to be thrown out of the game. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell introduced the idea publicly during his pre-Super Bowl news conference. On Thursday, the NFL Competition Committee laid out the applicable penalties that would lead to ejection: Throwing a punch or kicking an opponent, using abusive language with opponents, officials or teammates and taunting.
The Competition Committee does not expect to see a rise in ejections and hope the new rule will act as a deterrent for players. There were only two players last season who incurred two of the three types of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that would lead to an ejection.
Here is a breakdown of the proposed ejection rule that still needs to be approved:
Section 4 Automatic Disqualification. Article 1. Multiple Fouls.
*In addition to any penalty referenced elsewhere in the Official Playing Rules, a player will be automatically disqualified in the event that player is penalized twice in the same game for committing one of the unsportsmanlike conduct fouls listed below, or a combination of the fouls listed below: *
1. Throwing a punch, or a forearm, or kicking at an opponent, even though no contact is made.
*2. Using abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials, or representatives of the League. *
*3. Using baiting or taunting acts or words that engender ill will between teams. *
The player will be automatically disqualified regardless of whether the penalty is accepted or declined by the opponent. The fouls do not have to be judged by the official to be flagrant for the automatic disqualification to occur, and any foul that occurs during the pregame warm-up period will carry over into the game. Nothing in this section supersedes the Game Official's discretion to judge a foul to be flagrant and disqualify the player based on one occurrence. The addition of a new Section 4 will cause the current Section 4 to become Section 5.