Team owners are expected to approve the new rule at their annual meeting next month.
A player would get a 15-yard penalty for using the N-word on the field and would be tossed out of the game if he uses it a second time.
ESPN aired a special report on this subject on Sunday.
"I think it's going to be really tough to legislate this rule, to find a way to penalize everyone who uses this word," Ryan Clark, a Pittsburgh Steelers safety who's spent 12 years in the league, told ESPN's Bob Ley.
The issue gained national attention last season, when Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper was caught on video yelling the word at a black security guard at a concert.
The head of the committee that monitors diversity in the NFL says the league wants to send a message about how inappropriate the word is.
More: ESPN's Outside the Lines