NFL cuts OT from 15 minutes to 10, citing player safety

"We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown", Goodell said. The NFL announced on Tuesday that its players will have more freedom of expression in 2017 as it will ease up on their previous rules regarding celebrations.

Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday announced the NFL's decision to lighten up and allow a wider range of look-at-me scoring celebrations. Specifically, the letter stated players would now be allowed to use the football as a prop, participate in group demonstrations and celebrate on the ground free of penalty.

In 2012, researchers at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management conducted an experiment testing whether racial bias played a role in unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties following touchdowns.

Any celebrations deemed offensive will still be penalized, including suggestive dancing (sorry, guys, still no twerking), ridiculing opponents and mimicking weapon use.

Expect to see some differences in the 2017 season as National Football League owners voted for and passed several new rule changes during Tuesday's spring meetings. The newest change will take roster flexibility a step further, giving teams the chance to rehab more players off the 53-man roster without shutting their season down for good. Moving forward, there will be only one mandatory cut-down from 90 to 53 after the conclusion of the preseason. Regular-season games that were tied at the end of regulation will enter an overtime period that will last no longer than 10 minutes. We watched the final seven games of last season - the Super Bowl, two conference championship games and four Divisional Round contests - with a stopwatch in hand to determine the average time between touchdowns and snapping the football for a PAT, and it was 44.9 seconds.

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Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. The league will put an emphasis on banning any form of mocking - apparently older players were very adamant about that - but in general, we should see a lot more creativity in the end zone. That is no longer the case, as teams will now be enabled to return two players from injured reserve.

As for the celebration rule, I am ecstatic.

Owners also voted unanimously to move Super Bowl 55 to Tampa in 2021, while Los Angeles will host Super Bowl 56 the following year.

The NFL likely made the policy change after players became increasingly vocal about the league stifling their fun on the field.

  • Lawrence Cooper