Chop blocks hit the chopping block as NFL makes seven new rules changes

The NFL made seven rule changes for 2016, including the elimination of chop blocks and moving the extra point back permanently. 

The league announced the changes at the 2016 NFL owners' meetings in Boca Raton. They are as follows:

1. Permanent Extra Point: After a trial run in the 2015, the extra point was moved back to the 15-yard line in perpetuity. Who doesn't want everything hanging in the balance on the leg of a kicker? Oh right, Patriots fans don't.

Kickers missed a whopping 71 extra points last year, which was 8 more misses than the 7 years combined.

Defenses can also return these kicks for 2016 and beyond.

2. Coach-to-Player Communication: The NFL passed a rule allowing coach-to-player communication on both offense and defense regardless of whether they are on the field or in the coaching box. It's logical to allow playcallers to talk to players wherever they want.

3. Adios, Choppy: No more chop blocks. Chop blocks are done in the NFL forever. (Or at least until Mike Shanahan is named commissioner and brings them back on a permanent basis anyway. Relax, everyone, he does cut blocks, which are technically still legal.) This is a pretty obvious move designed to not hurt people's legs!

4. MORE HORSES: The definition of the horse-collar tackle was expanded. Instead of simply grabbing at the collarbone and destroying the offensive player by yanking him to the ground, now it is also illegal to drag someone down by the "nameplate." As in, grab "Brinson" on the back of my jersey, yank me to the ground and you're getting a 15-yard penalty. Again, logical: this is a move that can really hurt people. Expect to see plenty of flags fly based on people being used to doing this.

Extra points will be longer forever. (USATSI)

5. The Chris Webber Rule: You can no longer call a timeout if you don't have one. Well, you can call a timeout, but now, in what might be the most obvious rule change in the history of rules, you will be penalized for calling a timeout without one. This actually came into play earlier this year on a Monday night when the Lions called a timeout against the Saints and stopped play before everyone realized they shouldn't be able to do it.

No-brainer rule here. What's amazing is it never came into play before 2015.

6. Ineligible Receiver Rule: It used to be a five-yard penalty when a receiver would illegally touch a football after being out of bounds and then re-establishing himself inbounds. Now it is a loss of down penalty. Major difference there, obviously. 

7. Can't Triple Stamp a Double Stamp: The NFL also eliminated "multiple spots of enforcement for a double foul after a change of possession."

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories