NFL owners approve drastic rule change for kickoffs, plus ranking best uniforms in the NFL



Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

For the second straight day, the NFL’s Annual League Meeting is going on in Florida and the owners had a BUSY morning. Not only did they approve the new kickoff rule, but they also passed several other new rules for the 2024 season. 

We’ll be covering all the changes that were approved today, plus we put together an NCAA tournament-style bracket to decide who has the best jerseys in the NFL. 

As always, here’s your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here. Let’s get to the rundown.

1. Today’s show: 2024 NFL uniform bracket

With the NCAA Tournament now in full swing, we thought we would celebrate that fact by holding our own version of March Madness on the podcast and we did that by putting together a uniform bracket, which is exactly what it sounds like. 

We put all 32 uniforms in a tournament bracket and then Will Brinson, Tyler Sullivan and I debated for nearly 40 minutes before we came away with a winner. 

Here’s a look at the four teams that ended up making the Final Four: 

NFC

  • Eagles. If we had done this bracket last year, the Eagles might not have made it to the Final Four, but the return of their Kelly green uniforms in 2023 pushed them over the edge. The Eagles also have an all-black uniform that actually works. There’s not much to dislike about Philly’s uniforms. 
  • 49ers. The 49ers have an iconic look that has withstood the test of time. Although they’ve tinkered with their uniform over the years, they haven’t really made any major changes, which is a good thing, because the red and gold work well together. The 49ers also have some of the best throwback uniforms in the NFL. 

AFC

  • Chargers. Whenever anyone has a debate about the best uniforms in the NFL, the Chargers are almost always in the discussion. Their powder blue uniforms some of the best in the NFL and they also have two other shades of blue (Royal and Navy) that are also sharp. 
  • Dolphins. Apparently, we all like the color aqua, because we spent a good chunk of the podcast fawning over the Dolphins’ uniforms. 

The Chargers have never won a Super Bowl, but they did end up winning the Pick Six title for best uniforms in the NFL, so please celebrate accordingly, Chargers fans. If you want to hear the three of us debate the entire bracket, you can listen to our full show by clicking here. You can also watch today’s show on YouTube by clicking here. 

2. NFL Annual League Meeting: Owners approve the new kickoff proposal

The NFL’s Annual League Meeting is still going on down in Florida. After approving several new rules on Monday, the NFL’s 32 owners were back at it again today to vote on even more rule changes. 

The big one came when the owners voted on one of the most dramatic rule changes in NFL history with the proposed kickoff changes and the proposal actually passed. This means the kickoff will be undergoing a drastic change for the 2024 season. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

  • The new rule is being given a one-year trial run. Although the owners approved the new rule, it might not stick around for long if it doesn’t work the way the NFL wants it to work. The rule was approved on a one-year trial basis only, which means we’ll see it for the 2024 season, but it might not be around after that. After the upcoming season, the owners will assess how the new rule worked and if they like it, they could approve it on a permanent basis in March 2025. 
  • The kickoff proposal didn’t pass unanimously. NFL owners aren’t known for approving dramatic rule changes, and so, it’s not surprising to learn that not every team voted for the new kickoff rule. Three teams actually voted against the proposal and those three teams were the Raiders, 49ers and Packers. 

Under the new rule, 21 of the 22 players on the field will be lining up in the receiving team’s territory. Only the kicker will be in the kicking team’s territory. The entire proposal was 9.5 pages long, so it’s a lot to digest, but fortunately for you, I read through all 9.5 pages so I could break the rule down for you and you can check that out here

The owners also voted on several other rule changes Tuesday and here’s a look at the big ones that passed: 

  • Trade deadline gets moved. The deadline used to be the first Tuesday after Week 8, but now, it will be the first Tuesday after Week 9, which means it will be on Nov. 5 this year AKA Election Day. That should be a fun day. 
  • Reviewable plays involving the QB. A play can now be reviewed to make sure a QB got off a pass before being down or pushed out of bounds. This only applies if the ruling on the field is that the QB got off the pass. If the review shows that the QB’s knee was down, the replay assistant can fix that, which will save teams from using a challenge. Also, the NFL can now use replay assist on intentional grounding to determine whether the QB is in or out of the pocket and whether a defender is actually close to sacking the QB (within 2 yards). 
  • NFL can now review the game clock. Officials are now allowed to review whether a snap got off before game clock reaches zero. If the replay determines that that clock hit zero, then the play won’t count. This rule is ONLY for the game clock and not the PLAY clock, so it will only apply in certain circumstances like the end of a quarter. 
  • Huge IR change for the postseason. During the season, NFL teams are only allowed to bring eight players back from injured reserve. For 2024, that rule will stick for the regular season, but it will undergo a huge change for the postseason. In the playoffs, teams will be allowed to bring back an unlimited number of IR players. 
  • Emergency third QB rule. The NFL has a rule about how many times a player can be promoted from the practice squad to the active roster, but that rule won’t apply to quarterbacks who are being promoted to serve as the emergency third QB. For the third QB, teams will be allowed to elevate a quarterback an unlimited number of times. 

There were a few more rules approved on Tuesday and you can check out the full list here

3. Ranking the biggest challengers to a Chiefs three-peat

Over the past two years, no one has been able to stop the Kansas City Chiefs. They’ve already won two Super Bowls in a row, and now, they’re looking to become the first team in NFL history to win THREE in a row. 

So can anyone stop actually stop them? Cody Benjamin ranked the teams that have the best chance to end the Chiefs’ reign in 2024. 

1. 49ers. “San Francisco has doubled down on its front-seven investments, quickly replacing rentals like Chase Young with reliable vets like Maliek Collins and Leonard Floyd. Offensively, meanwhile, Brock Purdy is still coming into his own as the poised figurehead of Kyle Shanahan’s multipurpose attack.”

2. Bengals. “While everyone flocks to predict another Ravens run or a big leap by the quarterback-shuffling Steelers, the Bengals are busy preparing to reintroduce the Joe Burrow-Ja’Marr Chase-Tee Higgins triumvirate to the NFL. Neither Burrow nor Higgins was fully healthy in 2023, and while contract talks loom over Higgins, all signs point to his return.”

3. Texans. “Houston could benefit from a wide-open AFC South, but the biggest reason the Texans should be on everyone’s radar is second-year quarterback C.J. Stroud, who flashed MVP stuff in 2023. As long as his front and outside weapons stay healthy, he should be primed to sling it again.”

Cody ranked a total of 11 teams who might be able to slow down the Chiefs and you can see his full list here

4. Deion Sanders might throw a wrench in the 2025 NFL Draft

If Deion Sanders can make his master plan work, he might turn the NFL Draft upside down in 2025. During a recent appearance on the “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” podcast, the Pro Football Hall of Famer said he has a unique plan in place for two of his biggest stars. 

Here’s what you need to know about the situation: 

  • Sanders wants his guys to pull an Eli Manning. Sanders said his son, Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders, as well as Buffaloes’ two-way star Travis Hunter, will refuse to play for certain teams and that they might even pull an Eli Manning. “I know where I want them to go,” Deion said on the podcast. “So, it’s certain cities that ain’t going to happen. It’s going to be an Eli.”. 
  • Eli refused to play for the Chargers. If those two players pull an “Eli,” the draft could get wild. If you’re not familiar with the Manning situation, here’s what happened: Just days before the 2004 NFL Draft, Manning’s agent (Tom Condon) told the Chargers that Eli would sit out the entire 2004 season if the team drafted him with the first overall pick. The Chargers ended up ignoring the threat and taking Eli with the top pick anyway. However, Manning’s threats did ultimately work because he ended up getting traded to the New York Giants less than an hour later. 
  • Deion listed several teams he’d like to see his players play for. Deion wants both of his players to play in a city that fits them, and he mentioned the 49ers, Falcons, Cowboys, Commanders and Ravens as possible landing spots. In something that may or may not be a coincidence, Sanders played for each of those teams during his Hall of Fame NFL career.

Based on his comments, Sanders could definitely throw a wrench in the NFL Draft next year. If a team is interested in Shedeur at quarterback and Shedeur doesn’t want to play for that team, that would create a game of chicken: Will the team still draft him even if he makes it clear that he won’t play for them? 

As things stand today, both players will likely be first-round picks, but pulling an “Eli” is certainly a risky strategy. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out between now and April 2025 when the draft kicks off. You can read more about Deion’s comments here

5. Top 10 free agents left on the market

After two weeks of free agency, there are still some surprisingly big names left on the market and for any team in need of adding a corner, there are still several good options out here. 

With that in mind, let’s check out the 10 highest-ranked players from Prisco’s top 100 list who are still available (they’re listed with the team they played for last season):  

1. CB Stephon Gilmore (Cowboys)
2. EDGE Jadeveon Clowney (Ravens)
3. S Julian Blackmon (Colts)
4. OL Mekhi Becton (Jets)
5. WR Odell Beckham Jr. (Ravens)
6. WR Tyler Boyd (Bengals)
7. CB Steven Nelson (Texans)
8. CB Adoree Jackson (Giants)
9. QB Ryan Tannehill (Titans)
10. OL Connor Williams (Dolphins)

For a closer look at the players on this list, be sure to check out our full story here

6. Extra points: NFL announces Hall of Fame Game teams 

It’s been a busy 24 hours in the NFL, and since it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you. 

  • Bears and Texans to meet in Hall of Fame Game. The first game of the NFL preseason will be taking place on Aug. 1 in Canton, Ohio with the Texans facing the Bears. You can read more about the game here
  • NFL planning to play on Christmas. With Christmas on Wednesday this year, the NFL was hesitant about playing on the holiday, but the league is trudging forward. CBS Sports lead NFL insider Jonathan Jones has reported that the NFL is planning to play on Christmas this year, and that means the league will be playing on Wednesday for just the third time since 1950. We always found out it’s going to be a doubleheader and that hasn’t been done on a Wednesday since 1936.
  • Patriots leading rusher from 2021 retires at 27. Former Patriots and Bills running back Damien Harris has decided to retire at the age of just 27. Harris was never a superstar during his five seasons, but he did lead the Patriots in rushing twice (2020-21). You can read more about his surprising retirement here
  • 49ers not planning to trade Brandon Aiyuk. 49ers GM John Lynch shot down the Aiyuk trade rumors on Monday, but the receiver definitely still seems unhappy. After Lynch’s comments, Aiyuk posted several emojis on social media that seemed to say “Money talks, bullshit walks.” You can see those emojis here. In unrelated news, I love a story with emojis. 
  • Saints starting tackle could miss season. The Saints starting offensive line could be taking a huge hit in 2024. Ryan Ramczyk is dealing with a knee issue and the injury isn’t responding as the team had hoped. Coach Dennis Allen admitted this week that there’s a chance that Ramczyk could miss the season. 
  • Lions getting new uniforms. We mentioned yesterday that the Broncos are getting new uniforms, and now, you can add the Lions to that list. Team president Rod Wood confirmed that the Lions will be unveiling a new look at some point before the draft. 





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