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After Boldin drama, Bills propose rule change to reserve/retired list

The Bills proposed an NFL bylaw change to be voted on at this weekend's league meetings that seems to have been spurred by last season's Anquan Boldin drama.

Boldin signed with the Bills in early August and appeared in one preseason game before abruptly retiring less than two weeks later. He expressed interest in returning to football at the trade deadline in October, but the Bills weren't able to make a deal. The team released him from the reserve/retired list last week.

The Bills proposed an amendment to Article XVII, Section 17.6 of the league's constitution and bylaws, which deals with reserve list limitations. They want to provide clubs with another option to get a player back in the lineup if he returns from the reserve/retired list.

Here is the full wording of the proposal. Underlined words are proposed additions; words that have been struck through are proposed deletions.

Unless this Constitution and Bylaws provides otherwise, any player on the Active List of the club who reports to the club for training camp and is thereafter placed on the Reserve List by reasons other than military service may not play with his club for the balance of that preseason or regular season unless Procedural Recall waivers have been asked on such player, which waivers may not be recalled; provided, however, that if such player becomes an active player with another club and such other club thereafter asks waivers on him, and he is either claimed, released on waivers, or plays with another club in its league in that season, then the original club is entitled to restore such player to its Active List if it acquires him in a manner permitted by this Constitution and Bylaws or the rules of the League. If another club acquires such player from the Reserve List of another the original club by means of a trade, following the establishment of 75 active players, such player cannot  may play for the acquiring club, which is not required to request Procedural Recall waivers for such player. for the balance of that season unless the acquiring club waives such player without recall.

Sully's Mailbag: Boldin bolted for more than social justice

It is not known whether the Bills could have gotten Boldin back in the lineup under this proposed change last season or if they simply saw an inefficiency while dealing with the situation.

The Bills also proposed a bylaw change that would make it easier for a team to reacquire a player it has assigned to waivers.

Other interesting rule proposals:

  • In potential victories for common sense, the competition committee proposed reviewing what counts as a catch, and that a team that scores a winning touchdown at the end of regulation does not need to attempt a point-after-touchdown.
  • The competition committee proposed allowing a club to sign a head coaching candidate before the coach's current team has been eliminated from the playoffs.
  • The Chargers proposed making penalties for roughing the passer and targeting a defenseless player reviewable.
  • Washington proposed making all personal fouls reviewable.
  • The 49ers proposed that all NFL stadiums have three separate and permanent locker rooms to be exclusively designated for female football staff (one for officials, one for home staff, one for away staff) by 2021.

McDermott, players 'adjust' and 'move on' after Boldin's retirement

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