NFL meetings end on a positive note
Everything that came up for vote at the recent annual NFL meetings passed with flying colors.
PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Things couldn't be more positive as the NFL concluded its annual meetings Wednesday.
Owners passed 100 percent of the recommendations from the report of the league's Competition Committee. That's a first. The NFL may be united in revenue sharing and competitive parity, but it's never had a meeting in which every on-the-field proposal was passed.
"One of the main reasons for that is the survey we take from teams after the season," Texans general manager Charley Casserley said. "By listening to what the teams want, we are able to come together with ideas that improve the game. We're just responding to what teams want."
The list of passed items Wednesday was long.
Any player who possesses a foreign or extraneous object that isn't part of the uniform will be penalized or ejected. That means no cell phones. That means no Sharpie's. It's a no-tolerance policy for excessive celebration.
The vote was 31-1, with Raiders voting against it.
That may not help Super Bowl assistants, but it does give a couple of extra days to stretch out a busy interview schedule for hot coaches.
Though not voted upon, the NFL will call more penalties for defensive contact after a receiver runs more than five yards downfield. Officials have been told to emphasize stricter calls on unsportsmanlike conduct and taunting. There will be stricter enforcement of illegal blocks in the back when a hand is on a guy's back.
"We felt it was a very good three and a half days," Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said of the meetings.
There are still a lot of things ahead for the future. An extension of the collective bargaining agreement will be negotiated in the next few months. Activity is heating up for construction of a new stadium in the Los Angeles area. Sites in Carson, the Rose Bowl and the Coliseum are in competition.
In the next year or two, the league must extend its television contract.
Tagliabue said owners have discussed putting games on the new NFL Network, but he doesn't anticipate that happening.
"We don't see that in the near future," Tagliabue said. "I've said many, many times, in the near term, our object is to stick to the current carriers to the maximum possible extent."
Still, the NFL is looking for a five to 10 percent increase in the rights fees from the four current networks.
John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
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