First Jimmy Graham gets franchise tagged by the Saints as a tight end instead of a receiver this offseason, and now the NFL has taken his touchdown celebration away.
The NFL has outlawed dunking over the goal post, a move first made popular by retired tight end Tony Gonzalez and carried on by Graham. During an interview on "The Dan Patrick Show," NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said that the touchdown celebration will be illegal now and will draw a penalty.
And yes, it looks like the NFL is taking another fun thing out of its game. Gonzalez didn't understand it.
The NFL says no more dunking over the goalpost. This one I don't understand. Looks like I got out just in time.— Tony Gonzalez (@TonyGonzalez88) March 25, 2014
Graham (who is in a contract dispute with the Saints because he thinks he should get the more lucrative receiver franchise tag, instead of being classified as a tight end) and Gonzalez did the dunk celebration as an ode to their basketball-playing days, but many other players also throw it down over the goal post after touchdowns. That sometimes causes issues with the goal post becoming unbalanced and a slight delay to level it again, but that's rare. Presumably, that's the main reason the NFL wants to do away with the dunk, however.
The NFL also will allow referees to consult with the league office's command center during replay reviews.
The referee will still have the final say in whether a call stands or is reversed, but it's probably a positive step toward streamlining replay reviews. It just makes more sense to have league officials in a command center with large, high-definition screens looking at the play than a referee under a hood with the whole stadium watching.