Report: NFL Teams 'Strongly Against' Keeping Pass Interference Reviewable

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IFebruary 26, 2020

Referee Bill Vinovich (52) looks at the replay review screen during the second half of an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The future of the NFL's 2019 rule making pass interference calls and non-calls reviewable is up in the air.

According to the Washington Post's Mark Maske, teams are "strongly against renewing" the rule with 21 teams voting against making the rule permanent opposed to eight teams voting for it in an offseason competition committee survey. Three teams did not vote either way.

"The survey responses are not binding and the results do not ensure that the rule, approved by the owners last March for one year only, will be discarded this offseason," Maske wrote. "But as the offseason gets underway and the competition committee begins deliberating over rules, there doesn't appear to be much support for that one to stand."

Maske added that 24 of 32 team owners would have to vote in favor of the rule in order for it to stick.

Owners voted last March at the annual league meeting to implement this rule for one year only following the controversial end to the 2018 season's NFC Championship Game. Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman was not called for blatant defensive pass interference on New Orleans Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis late in the fourth:

The Saints lost 26-23 in overtime.

Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy did not give the rule a ringing endorsement Monday.

"Overall the results were not great," Murphy said while in Indianapolis for the NFL combine, per ESPN's Kevin Seifert. "And I think it really is putting the New York [officiating] office in a very difficult position. ... But it's still pretty early [and] we're looking at different options."

League competition committee chairman Rick McKay told reporters Sunday: "You have to decide from a cost-benefit analysis standpoint: Is this worth it? Are we getting enough bang for our buck as far as the game goes? And that's one that the clubs have to answer."

Seifert reported on Jan. 9 that the NFL had reviewed 101 calls during the regular season "for possible offensive or defensive pass interference" and only overturned 24. On coaches challenges, 13 of 81 plays involving pass interference were overturned.

Maske predicted that owners take a renewal vote at the annual league meeting beginning on March 29 in Palm Beach, Florida.

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