The last-minute compromise on kickoff rules helped lead to passage today at the NFL meetings.
Kickoffs have been moved back to the 35-yard line, but touchbacks remain at the 20. The two-man wedge also has returned and players covering the kickoff can get no more than a 5-yard running start.
Kickoffs were moved to the 30 in 1994, when the NFL sought to open up the return game and limit touchbacks.
Some coaches apparently thought bringing touchbacks to the 25 will inspire kickers to “mortar kick” high and short of the goal line, in an attempt to limit returns, something that could end up being as dangerous as the current setup. Rich McKay, chair of the competition committee, said he feels the fact that kicking tees now are limited to 1 inch in height will make it hard to do that.