Meanwhile, the two teams in Los Angeles relocated to other cities: the Rams transferred to St. Louis and the Raiders moved back to Oakland; this would be the start of a 20-year absence for the NFL in Los Angeles. During the course of the season it emerged that the Cleveland Browns would relocate to Baltimore for the 1996 season. The Raiders’ move was not announced until after the schedule had been announced, which resulted in a problem in the third week of the season when both the Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers had games scheduled to air on NBC which ended up overlapping each other. The Raiders game was rescheduled for 10:00 AM PDT in case they were to relocate and NBC was given the doubleheader so that both Bay Area teams had their games televised locally.
The 1995 NFL expansion draft was held on February 15, 1995. The Jacksonville Jaguars held the first pick overall, while the Carolina Panthers were second, alternating picks as the existing teams made six players available for selection,. The Panthers ultimately picked 35 players, while the Jaguars picked 31. With the first selection in the Expansion Draft, the Jaguars selected quarterback Steve Beuerlein from the Arizona Cardinals. Selecting second, the Panthers obtained cornerback Rod Smith from the New England Patriots.
Mike Carey and Walt Coleman were promoted to referee; Carey became the second African-American referee in NFL history following Johnny Grier, who was promoted in 1988. Dale Hamer had to sit out the 1995 season to recover from open heart surgery, while league expansion from 28 to 30 teams required an additional officiating crew.
Major rule changes
An eligible receiver forced out of bounds by a defensive player may return to the field and automatically become eligible to legally be the first player to touch a forward pass.
Quarterbacks may now receive communications from the bench from a small radio receiver in their helmets, partly repealing a rule that had been in force since 1956.
The 1995 season produced four of the top twenty highest single-season totals for receiving yards. Two of the top five teams receiving yard totals of all time – Jerry Rice's 1,848 & Isaac Bruce's 1,781 – were recorded in 1995. Detroit Lions receiver Herman Moore gained 1,686 yards (6th highest all time) and Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin gained 1,603 yards (11th most in NFL history).
The inaugural Carolina Panthers uniforms featured gray helmets, blue trim, black jerseys with white numbers and gray pants, and white jerseys with black numbers and white pants. The helmet logo featured a black panther head with blue trim.
The Dallas Cowboys wore a navy blue version of the white "Double-Star" alternate jerseys they wore in 1994, with blue sleeves and white star logos on the shoulders. The white "Double Star" jersey was discontinued due to a since-repealed NFL policy which allowed teams only one colored jersey and one white jersey except for special occasions.
The Houston Oilers began wearing their white pants with their white jerseys, discontinuing their blue pants. This was the first time the Oilers wore white pants with white jerseys for a full season since 1980.
The Indianapolis Colts experimented with wearing blue pants with their white jerseys for their first three games.
The inaugural Jacksonville Jaguars uniforms featured black helmets, teal jerseys with white numbers, white jerseys with teal numbers, and white pants. The helmet logo featured a jaguar head with a teal tongue.
The New England Patriots switched from block numbers to a rounded number font with a drop shadow. The "Flying Elvis" helmet logo was repeated on the shoulders, and TV numbers moved to the sleeves.
The New York Jets removed the black trim from the nameplates on jerseys.