From narrower goal posts to snapping the ball from the 15-yard line, the NFL is considering a major overhaul of extra points.

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The NFL spent considerable time at its quarterly meetings in Phoenix discussing that most controversial of topics, the hot-button issue of our time: extra points.

Presumably, this was after the panel discussion on paint drying, and the white-paper presentation on the pros and cons of flossing.

Let’s just say this isn’t the most earth-shattering subject of our time. Writing a polemic about PATs would require mustering up emotion where it simply doesn’t exist, like writing a screed about sacrifice bunts.

Possible changes

What to do with the extra-point kick? Some possibilities the NFL is looking at:

• Moving the line of scrimmage back for PAT kicks

• Placing the ball on the 1½-yard line for a 2-point conversion

• Eliminating the PAT kicks entirely, requiring teams to run a play

The Associated Press

Bad example. I’ve read dozens of screeds about sacrifice bunts. I’ve probably written a couple.

But as boring as this topic might seem on the surface, the proposals being kicked around (see what I did there?) by the NFL actually represent a pretty significant alteration to the game as we know it. And the boredom factor associated with kicking extra points — also known as “time to make a sandwich or hit the restroom” — is exactly why the NFL is contemplating changes.

Actually, this is beyond the contemplation stage. Changes are coming, and they’ll be in place for next season, almost guaranteed. Commissioner Roger Goodell has spoken. The question now is which proposal will be implemented when the owners vote in May.

The problem now is a simple one: Kickers are too good. And thus the extra point is devoid of drama. The misses each season can be counted on two hands — a total of eight last year.

That wasn’t the case when the one-point PAT was implemented in 1912, but it has been for decades. NFL kickers have converted more than 90 percent of extra points since the late 1930s, 99.1 percent since 2001. Field-goal accuracy is on a steep rise as well.

“Face it, I’d have a hard time playing two years in the league, comparing my stats to now. These guys are great,’’ said Jeff Jaeger, the former Huskies kicker who spent 12 years in the NFL from 1987 to 1999. “I watch these guys and go, ‘Wow.’ They are definitely better than when I played.”

Norm Johnson still holds most of the Seahawks’ kicking records and was dubbed “Mr. Automatic” for his uncanny accuracy. He held the NFL record for consecutive PATs when he retired in 1999 (301, since surpassed by Jason Elam). And Mr. Automatic concedes the NFL might be on to something.

“I think it’s gotten, from the fan’s point of view, I guess somewhat unexciting,’’ Johnson said. “If they’re trying to create excitement and make the extra-point percentage go down, I’m kind of for changing something in the rules.”

Not all kickers are so understanding. When the debate began, 49ers kicker Phil Dawson tweeted, “My PAT recommendation: place a clown’s mouth & a swirling windmill in front of goal posts. :)”

Goodell first spoke out a year ago about needing to alter, or eliminate, a play that has been sapped of suspense. Though don’t tell that to John Carney. In 2003, in a game New Orleans needed to keep its playoff hopes alive, the Saints trailed Jacksonville 20-13 with seven seconds left, only to pull off a miraculous 75-yard touchdown, replete with a series of crazy laterals.

It was dubbed the River City Relay and won an ESPY for best play. But here’s the kicker (see what I did … never mind): Carney missed the extra point, eliciting one of the great anguished play-by-play calls in broadcasting annals by Jim Henderson: “Noooo! He missed the extra point, wide right. Oh, my God, how could he do that?”

But that was an extreme exception to what has become virtual conversion by rote.

“We certainly didn’t overlook them or think of them as easy or a gimme,’’ Johnson said. “At the same time, boy, you’re expected to make it, too. That adds a little anxiety. I had extra points be a deciding factor at the end of a game. It’s as exhilarating as a last-second field goal. It’s a 20-yard field goal.”

Some of the proposals to liven up the extra point have bordered on the ridiculous, like the one submitted — and then withdrawn — last week by the Colts. It called for teams that make a two-point conversion to then have the option of getting a “bonus” point by kicking a 50-yard field goal. That would allow for a possible nine-point scoring play.

“It’s a way to encourage dialogue to make sure that the extra point isn’t just some ceremonial play,” Colts general manager Ryan Grigson told reporters.

Goodell tossed out the notion that teams could get seven points for a touchdown, and then have the option of either running or passing for an eighth point. Ah, but if they failed, they’d lose a point. That one didn’t gain much traction, nor did various spitballed ideas like awarding more points based on the length of a PAT kick, or making the distance progressively longer in each quarter.

But among the proposals that are getting serious consideration is one in which the ball is placed at the 1½-yard line, instead of the 2, to encourage more two-point conversions. The original proposal was to make it from the 1, but the powers that be decided that was too easy. Because Seahawks’ fans all know there’s, ahem, absolutely no way, cough, to be — commence tears — denied from the 1.

The Seahawks favor a proposal in which a touchdown counts as an automatic seven points. There’s no kick, but teams must run a play from the 2 for one point. The defense can score a point by returning an interception or fumble the distance.

Allowing the defense an opportunity to score on a PAT try, as is the case in college, is gaining traction. So is the simple notion of moving the line of scrimmage for all extra-point attempts to the 15 (Some are pushing for the 25. As Jaeger said, “If I need a PAT and have to make a 43-yarder, that would get my attention.”).

The idea Jaeger likes is to narrow the goal posts. They tried that in the Pro Bowl, with the posts coming in from 18 feet to 14 feet across. The Colts’ Adam Vinatieri missed two 35-yard extra points (they also experimented with longer PATs) and a 38-yard field-goal attempt.

“Narrowing the uprights and backing it up to the 10 instead of the 15, I guess I’d call that legitimate,’’ Jaeger said.

The other proposal that seems to be popular is to give teams a choice: Either try for two points from the 1½, or attempt a PAT kick from the 15.

Johnson came up with an issue that I hadn’t even thought of: The farther you move the PAT back and eliminate the threat of a fake, the more it emboldens teams to institute an all-out rush, thus leading to potentially more injuries.

That said, I’m leaning toward that proposal as my favorite (but only because installing clown’s mouths would be too expensive, like goal-line cameras).

It’s provocative. It would require coaches to make a decision and thus lead to second-guessing, which is always fun. And it would deal with the problem at hand, which is putting some drama back into the PAT.

Now, about the sacrifice bunt.