Three new NFL rule changes relating to player safety were approved Tuesday at the owners' meetings in Indianapolis. Also, the NFL is close to rolling out a "team fine" system for fining franchises if they have multiple players who are fined throughout the season.
League vice president Adolpho Birch referred to the system as a "notion of club accountability," but said that details of the plan are not final.
"As a club's total (number of fines) increases to a certain threshold, we will enforce some ... payback to encourage clubs to stay below that threshold," Birch said. "We're looking at a system similar to one we instituted a couple years ago with off-field conduct.
"We're still working on specifics. Let's just say it would be significant and reasonable," he said.
Birch did not identify which teams likely would have been fined had the system been in place during the 2010 season, but did say that "three our four teams would have been subject to penalties."
Art Rooney, speaking at the owners meetings, said that the Steelers would have been one of the teams that would have qualified for such a fine, according to Dan Parr of Pro Football Weekly.
NFL VP Ray Anderson, also speaking in Indy, said that suspensions will again be considered for the coming season. In 2010, the NFL threatened players with the possibility of suspensions based on hits that were considered flagrant violations, but no player was suspended.
Fines and suspensions will presumably be easier to come by in 2011, as well. The 32 owners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve rules that increase player safety, including a measure aimed at preventing a player from launching himself into a defenseless opponent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.