Catch rule recommendations revealed ahead of vote

The NFL's attempt to fix the catch rule took another major step forward.

NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Al Riveron announced Wednesday the Competition Committee will recommend simplifying the language of the catch rule. The proposed changes will be presented next week at the Annual League Meeting.

  1. Control of the ball.
    1. Two feet down or another body part.
    2. A football move such as:
      »A third step;
      »Reaching/extending for the line-to-gain;
      »Or the ability to perform such an act.

The key change in the proposal would eliminate the frustrating going-to-the-ground element of the rule that caused catches to be overturned, like Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant's against Green Bay in the 2014 playoffs, or Steelers tight end Jesse James' reversed TD against the Patriots this past season.

The proposed change won't eliminate all the gray areas, nullify all confusion or completely wipe away controversial calls. The changes could also lead to more fumbles by receivers. However, it's the first significant step in the NFL trying to sort out a rule that has irritated and confounded fans, players and coaches alike for years.

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