Patriots abstain from tuck rule vote

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The votes came down today to officially do away with the tuck rule. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of getting rid of it. Not surprising, the Patriots were not one of those teams.

Since earlier this week when the abolishing the tuck rule from the NFL rule book was first put on the table, it was a foregone conclusion that it was to be gone. Today that reality became official as the decision passed by an overwhelming 29-1 margin with Pittsburgh as the only team to vote no.

There were two teams to abstain - Washington and New England. The Patriots are infamous for having their ticket punched to their first Super Bowl from the tuck rule heard round the world. Now biting the hand that fed them was not a good idea. The Redskins abstention likely comes from General Manager Bruce Allen having been the Raiders GM at the time of the tuck rule game.

If Patriots owner Robert Kraft had voted no (to keep the rule), it would have sent an even bigger shock wave through the media than his abstention as it would be seen as admitting the tuck rule had been good to them. If he had voted yes (to get rid of the rule), it would have been seen as hypocritical.

Abstaining from such things was something Al Davis was known for doing as a way of sending a message of his own. With the league opting to wait until the rogue owner had passed to even bring up the idea of getting rid of the tuck rule.

Mark Davis promised this was one vote from which he was certainly not abstaining. His father would approve.

In addition to abolishing the tuck rule, the league also passed a new rule that penalizes offensive players for leading with the crown of their helmet outside the tackle box. It passed by a 31-1 vote.

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