Cam Jordan, More NFL Defenders Rip Proposed Rule Change to Penalize Hip-Drop Tackle

Jack MurrayMarch 20, 2024

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 21: Cameron Jordan #94 of the New Orleans Saints walks off the field during a game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on December 21, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Getty Images)

Ric Tapia/Getty Images

The NFL is looking to crack down on the hip-drop tackle and many defensive players are not afraid to show their disapproval.

The league and the competition committee submitted language that would describe a “dangerous hip-drop tackle” that would necessitate a 15-yard penalty going forward.

Jonathan Jones @jjones9

The NFL and the competition committee are submitting this language for the dangerous hip-drop tackle. The penalty would be 15 yards. Officials believe they can correctly call it. Some, including the union, have worried about the potential subjectivity of the call

This infraction would be called when a player makes a tackle where he “grabs the runner with both hands or wraps the number with both arms; and unweights himself by swiveling and dropping his hips and/or lower body, landing on and trapping the runner’s leg(s) at or below the knee.”

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan and other defenders took to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, to express anger and frustration at the proposal.

Cam Jordan @camjordan94

🗑️ 🚮

Nakobe Dean🔝🔜 @NakobeDean


Darius Slay @bigplay24slay

This shit is crazy!

Kenny Moore II @KennyKennyMoe3


The NFLPA also expressed its opposition to the proposal:


Our statement on the swivel hip-drop tackle.

The committee said it was submitted to “eliminate a potentially dangerous tackling technique.” The reason cited for the rule change was “player safety.”

An example of the hip-drop tackle would be the one that injured Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews in Week 11 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Andrews would miss seven games with an ankle injury, but notably did not give an opinion on if that tackling form should be banned.

“It kind of was just an unfortunate event,” Andrews said in January, per Clifton Brown and Ryan Mink of “I’m just going to let everybody else do their thing. If they want to ban the tackle, fine. I’m going to go hard no matter what. I don’t blame the guy. He was just playing hard.”

The NFL Players Association released a statement in March 2023 advocating for the hip-drop tackle not to be banned, as it would be “unfair to players and unrealistic to implement.”

The ban would not come to fruition for the 2023 season but could be in effect for the 2024 season if the proposal is approved. That will come when owners vote on the proposed rule changes during the annual league meetings that take place March 25-27 in Orlando, Florida.

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