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NFL hires Terri Valenti, its first female replay official

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The NFL is hiring its second female official in three years.

Terri Valenti joins an elite group of women who have made their mark on football. Take a look at those who have paved the way.

The league announced Thursday that Terri Valenti will become the first female instant replay official in NFL history. The move was first reported in March by Alex Marvez of The Sporting News.

Valenti has an extensive background in football. She has worked in instant replay in the NFL for the past five seasons. Prior to working in replay, Valenti became the first woman to officiate a professional football game with the now-defunct United Football League in 2009. She was also named Official of the Year in the Arena Football League in 2015.

Valenti joins full-time referee Sarah Thomas in the officiating department. Thomas' hiring as a full-time official in 2015 broke new ground for women in football.

All 17 on-field officials from the 2016 season return for 2017. This year's roster also includes eight first-time officials.

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