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Roger Goodell open to eliminating kickoffs entirely

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

In an article that's hitting newshelves everywhere this week (and is available online if you have a subscription), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told TIME that he'd consider eliminating kickoffs in professional football.

Goodell has, per the article via Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated, considered the idea of changing the way the NFL handles kickoffs by replacing them with an offensive opportunity.

The idea is to give the team that scored the ball on their own 30-yard line. That team would have one shot to pick up 15 yards and keep the ball, or they could simply punt from the 30-yard line.

This wacky kickoff replacement is even crazier than you might think, because of its origination: it was proposed by Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano. You know, the same guy who likes to try to spoil the victory formation at the end of games.

But Goodell maintains the possibility of radically redesigning the kickoff procedure isn't some PR stunt; he'd only consider it because it's "the right thing to do."

"I don't do things for public relations," Goodell said. "I do things because they're the right thing to do, because I love the game."

Kickoffs are dangerous because of the high-speed nature of the collisions involved between players. But changing them from a special-teams play to an offensive-option play would be something incredibly drastic.

Would it change the way rosters are constructed? Would it inflate the value of punters while deflating the value of kickers? How would players react? And would the public approve?

Those are all questions that the NFL and Goodell need to consider before moving forward with this possible rule change, which could be exactly why the possibility just made its way into a national magazine.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

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