Growing sense is owners won’t vote on overtime rule

IRVING, Texas — NFL owners and front office officials began arriving for the NFL Spring Meeting early in the afternoon Monday, poised to vote on the host city for Super Bowl XLVIII, but unsure if they’ll vote for amending changes to overtime which they approved at the NFL Annual Meeting in March.

The possibility of tabling the overtime vote is the most interesting development at these meetings. In March, owners voted to change overtime rules for the playoffs beginning with the upcoming season, and there was tremendous momentum to go ahead and apply those changes to the regular season. That push seems to have lost a lot of steam — for now. The new wrinkle, of course, is that if the team who has first possession in overtime doesn’t score a touchdown but kicks a field goal, the other team gets the ball.

If the overtime rule is tabled, which is the growing sense, it likely won’t be revisited before the season. The new overtime rules would then apply only in the playoffs — something that bothered a lot of coaches, who don’t want to have to adjust to new rules with a shot at the Super Bowl at stake.

Although the Super Bowl XLVIII vote won’t take place until Tuesday, it is widely assumed that New York/New Jersey will beat out South Florida (Miami/Fort Lauderdale) and Tampa for the game. The fact that the game could be played in an outdoor stadium in cold weather has generated a lot of conversation, but it’s clearly not a deal-breaker. It could prompt more regions (New England, Seattle) to bid on future Super Bowls.

— Steve Wyche

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