If you want an extra point in the future, you might have to really work for it.
The NFL Competition Committee has discussed experimenting this preseason with a longer -- much longer -- extra-point try. According to one member, the committee's meetings this weekend included preliminary talks about placing the ball at the 25-yard line for the extra-point kick -- which would make it a 42-yard attempt -- rather than the 2-yard line, where it is currently placed.
A member of the competition committee said, "There is no consensus yet. We could experiment in preseason, but we are not there yet."
The reason for the proposed change is that extra points are too much of a given. It's gotten to the point—no pun intended—where teams might as well be given seven points automatically for a touchdown because the PAT is essentially a free point.
According to Battista, of the 1,267 extra points attempted last season, only five missed the target. That's a conversion rate of 99.6 percent.
Is 42 yards the right distance for extra points in the future?
NFL.com's Dan Hanzus wrote that kickers made 83 percent of their field goals between 40 and 49 yards. That would seem to strike a happy medium between making an extra point a little harder but not unfairly difficult.
Hanzus added that coaches would have a tougher decision in deciding whether to kick a 42-yard field goal for the extra point or attempt the two-point conversion, thus adding a little more strategy to the game. It's easy to imagine situations in inclement weather where trying a two-pointer would be safer than going for the extra point.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated noted that the two-point conversion would remain at the same distance it is currently at:
RT @MitchmanK: Would 2 pt conversions still be held to the same yard marker as they currently are? ... Yes. Encouraging more 2-pt tries.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) March 3, 2014
This rule would also make kickers more valued across the league. Teams would be willing to shell out more money for a veteran, and in the draft, they might take a kicker a round or two earlier than they would have before.
Of course, this idea is only in the theoretical stage. By the time it reaches implementation, it will have likely undergone some sort of transformation, possibly regarding the distance or the time coaches have to decide whether they want to go for a PAT or a two-pointer.
For the competition committee to have at least entertained the idea, though, is a step in the right direction.