The NFL's Annual League Meeting is going down this week in Arizona and one thing that happens every year at this meeting is that the owners get to vote on multiple rule proposals that could potentially be implemented for the upcoming season.
For the 2023 meeting, there are 17 proposals on the table, including a proposal that would make roughing the passer a reviewable penalty. If there's one person who would likely be on board with that change, it's new Broncos coach Sean Payton, who made some major complaints over the weekend about the way the roughing the passer penalty is officiated.
During an interview with NFL Media's Tom Pelissero, Payton said the situation with roughing the passer is a burgeoning crisis in the NFL.
"Let's say crisis is level five, I'd say [it's at] level three," Payton said. "It's something we got to be better at."
For Payton, one of the issues with the penalty is that it's not officiated the same way by the different officiating crews.
"So how do we handle that? I think the big thing, and I think the NFL even said this, how do we get 17 crews seeing things the same way?" Payton said. "So it's not just one crew. That's a challenge in any endeavor to get 17 groups of people to act, behave, react the same way and see things the same way."
For the Broncos' new coach, that's the main rule on the docket this week that needs to be looked at.
"I think that's the one thing to me that stands out that is really up and down," Payton said.
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Unfortunately for Payton, it doesn't sound like the rule is going to get changed this week. For a proposal to become an NFL rule, it needs 24 of the league's 32 owners to approve it. As things currently stand, the proposal to make roughing the passer reviewable doesn't have enough support to be voted through, according to NFL.com.
The rule change was proposed by the Rams and the issue there is that the owners usually aren't too keen on approving major changes that are proposed by individual teams.
Of course, the fact that Payton is being so vocal about a potential rule change involving roughing the passer could lead the NFL to take a closer look at it in the future. Payton served on the competition committee for four years (2017-21) and the owners will usually approve most rules that get proposed by that committee.
If the committee decides next year that roughing the passer should become a reviewable penalty, then the owners would likely give the proposal a hard look. As for this year, though it seems unlikely to pass.