Sports Talk

Roger Goodell: NFL will explore eliminating the extra point

Patriots coach Bill Belichick lobbied the league Monday to discipline Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker for hitting and injuring Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib during a play in the AFC Championship Game.

If the league decides to punish Welker, it wouldn’t be the first time that one of the coach’s suggestions worked its way up the ladder in the league. Earlier this month, Belichick said he thought extra points were boring because of how automatic they’ve become and there’s enough agreement with him that the league will explore dropping extra points this offseason.

That was the word from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who told Rich Eisen of NFL Network that the league is examining proposals for abolishing the extra point  for pretty much the reason that Belichick cited. Goodell outlined one of the proposed changes.

“The extra point is almost automatic,” Goodell said. “I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd (1,256-for-1,261, to be precise). So it’s a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play. There’s one proposal in particular that I’ve heard about. It’s automatic that you get seven points when you score a touchdown, but you could potentially go for an eighth point, either by running or passing the ball, so if you fail, you go back to six.”

That would certainly eliminate the boredom of an extra point try without fundamentally changing too much about the decision that coaches already make about when to try for a two-point conversion. There will certainly be some pushback to altering a play that’s always been part of the game, but anything that would speed up the process of getting back to actual football is worth considering.