Belichick said earlier last month he thought extra points had become too automatic, and now it seems the league might be getting rid of them completely. (USA TODAY Images)

Last season Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski broke his forearm on an extra point against the Colts during their blowout win, and suffered another blow when broke it again in the postseason.  That led to infections that set his recovery back during this offseason and ultimately cost him most of the first half of 2013.

Now it appears this offseason the league is going to explore eliminating them from the game completely.

Just a few weeks after Bill Belichick said he thought they had become “virtually automatic”, Roger Goodell basically agreed after telling Rich Eisen of the NFL Network that the NFL is examining proposals for removing it, citing the very reason Belichick mentioned previously.  However, he made an interesting suggestion of how to replace it.

“The extra point is almost automatic,” Goodell said via ProFootballTalk.com. “I believe we had five missed extra points this year out of 1,200 some odd (1,256-for-1,261, to be precise). So it’s a very small fraction of the play, and you want to add excitement with every play. There’s one proposal in particular that I’ve heard about. It’s automatic that you get seven points when you score a touchdown, but you could potentially go for an eighth point, either by running or passing the ball, so if you fail, you go back to six.”

That would add some additional drama, although it remains to be seen with that potential penalty how many teams would attempt it.  Either way the discussions will likely continue and should add an interesting story line this offseason.