For a play deemed a formality by the National Football League, the extra point sure is getting talked about a lot this offseason.
Last month, discussion swirled that the NFL was considering eliminating the point after touchdown, a play that was adopted in the early 1900s, because it has become automatic.
Now, there is talk that the league is considering moving the line of scrimmage for a point after touchdown to the 25-yard line, making attempts 42 yards.
While the latest proposal has received some support, not everyone is on board with such a drastic change.
Take free agent kicker Jay Feely, for instance. The veteran kicker, who has hit 99.6 percent of his career extra points, doesn’t think the proposed change makes too much sense.
“Obviously kickers aren’t going to like it,” Feely told Doug and Wolf Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “If somebody told you your job is going to be twice as hard and there is no tangible benefit for you, you’re not going to be happy about it.”
Feely does understand the other side of the argument, however.
“Now I understand, somewhat, Roger Goodell’s point that it’s a play that’s a foregone conclusion — I think the last time I missed an extra point was ten years ago — they’re saying it’s a boring play,” Feely said. “My reasoning is that’s not really justification for making a dramatic change to the game and something that’s been part of the game and the history of the game since its infancy.”
Feely says he’s heard from the NFL Competition Committee that the proposed extra point will actually be a 38-yard attempt and he believes that making the change will fly in the face of the push toward player safety the league has been responsible for.
“It’ll make it a more dangerous play,” he said. “Almost every extra point this year, we did a safe defense, so we didn’t really rush because you’re not going to get there, the ball gets up too quick and the timing is too quick.
“Now when it’s a field goal, now you’re rushing hard and you’ve got ten of the eleven guys really coming. If you move it back to a 38-yard field goal, that safe defense won’t happen anymore and you’re going to rush.”
Feely says if he was in charge, he wouldn’t make any changes to the current extra point.
“I don’t think I would, because here’s the thing, it’s really organic from the league office,” he said. “You didn’t hear a public outcry from the fans, ‘hey we need to change this play, it’s messing up the game, it’s a boring play,’ you didn’t hear that from coaches and players for sure, so really it was something at the league office for some reason that they wanted to make this an issue and they wanted to float the idea and see how the fans respond and how the public responds.
“Because there wasn’t a public outcry and there really wasn’t anyone besides the league office that seemed like they needed to change that play, I don’t know why you would make that kind of big change in the game.”