Adam Vinatieri on possible XP rules change: 'If it's not broke, don't fix it'

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Kickers have been marginalized for most of their existence; that's the deal when you only play a handful of snaps, and wins and losses often rest on your ability to accurately kick a football from some distance. But marginalization would be a welcome respite from the looming alternative: extinction.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said previously that the league was exploring the possibility of eliminating extra points. Alternatively, a recent NFL.com report suggested that the extra point could be moved to the 25-yard line, making what was a 20-yard attempt into a 43-yarder.

Not surprisingly, this developments doesn't sit well with Colts kicker and likely future Hall of Famer Adam Vinatieri, who fears that teams will eschew extra-point attempts altogether and opt to go for two points after every touchdown.

"I don't understand the logic: Will it make the game safer for people by moving the extra point back to a 43-yarder? If anything, players are going to rush harder because they're thinking, 'That far of a field goal-type try, we have to go after blocking it more,' " Vinatieri told USAToday.com Tuesday. "If you want to talk about potential risk, more guys get injured on a field goal than extra point.

"It definitely will change the game. For the better? I'm not sure."

Kickers converted 99.6 percent of their extra-point attempts last season, which is one reason Goodell mentioned doing away with them -- there's no drama in the predictable.

"This just seems like a proposal by a couple of people trying to pound their chest a little saying, 'Let's change it up because kickers are too good,' " Vinatieri said. "They're trying to downgrade our value versus continuing to put an emphasis on kicking. They're trying to minimize the importance of kickers. I'm a traditionalist. If it's not broke, don't fix it."

We would leave things as they are and just narrow the goal posts, but Goodell didn't ask. Either way, the status quo is likely changing, a reality Cardinals kicker Jay Feely understands.

"You don't penalize a baseball closer for being great, you celebrate that. You should do the same thing with kickers," Feely said. "If you're going to change the extra-point rule, I'd rather see you change it and still have it as part of the game than eliminate it."

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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