NFL owners have unanimously approved a new catch rule.
The catch rule, proposed by the league's competition committee at the behest of commissioner Roger Goodell, will eliminate the requirement to maintain control of the ball throughout the process of going to the ground. Instead, it will define a catch with a simpler three-step process: A receiver must control of the ball, establish himself in bounds and perform a football move such as taking a third step or lunging with the ball in hand.
Former NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino suggested earlier this month to expect a swap of debates.
"If the receiver performs an act common to the game," Blandino said, "if he performs a football move, whatever you want to call it, on the way to the ground, if you say that supersedes him having to hold the ball all the way to the ground, then that adds another layer of judgment for the official and in replay.
"You're just shifting the debate from, 'Was he going to the ground and did he hold on to it?' to 'Did he make a football move?'"