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NFL Kickers Speak Out Against Potential Extra Point Changes

Feely, Tucker among those not in favor of changes to the extra point

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NFL Kickers Speak Out Against Potential Extra Point Changes

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(L-R) Kyle Long #75, Robbie Gould #9 and Steve Maneri #87 of the Chicago Bears celebrate Gould's 58 yard field goal against the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field on September 8, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Earlier this year, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the NFL Network that the league would consider abolishing extra points from the game, citing the fact that only five out of 1,200 attempts last season were unsuccessful.

From that effort came news earlier this week that a proposal has been floated that would make the extra point attempt, currently a 20-yard chip shot kick, into a much lengthier 43-yard boot. Needless to say, many NFL kickers are opposed to that idea, and have spoken out publically against it.

Here’s what Ravens kicker Justin Tucker told the team’s website:

“If somebody wants to be honest and say they’re trying to phase kickers out of the game, I’d appreciate that,” he said. “I’d start working out and I’d try to get a little faster and I’d work on my hands and become a slot receiver. I want to play the game.”

Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri and Arizona Cardinals boot man Jay Feely also echoed Tucker’s sentiments in this story on ESPN.com, and made it clear that they feel such a move would marginalize their role in the game.

Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould hasn’t weighed in on the controversy, but it is definitely something that he would want to pay attention to. Having just signed a new deal to stay with the Bears, his future with the team is secure, but he still could be affected by this new rule. In his NFL career, Gould has made 323 out of 325 extra points attempted, missing one in his rookie season and then missing another one during the 2013 campaign.

So what should the NFL do about the extra point conundrum? There is clearly a growing backlash against it, and while many fans would like to see the kick kept in the game, there is a substantial group that is forming against the extra point.

One solution that the league hasn’t explored, but should, is this. Instead of kicking the ball from the 2-yard line, move it back to the 20-yard line to set up a 37-yard field kick. That still is by no means a chip shot kick, and it would be a more realistic possibility of making it than a longer kick would be. For two point conversions, the league should also move the line back, from the 2-yard line to the five, just to take away a little bit of the incentive for skipping the extra point.

Those are our ideas for improving the extra point, but what are yours football fans? Do you think the league should leave well enough alone, or should they make changes?

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