When it comes to actual on the field competition, the NFL's catch rule is probably second only to personal fouls when it comes to contentious regulations leading to bizarrely heated arguments in living rooms nationwide.

I would say that most people can recognize a catch when they see one, but that doesn't really translate to a good rule (meaning that writing "most people can recognize a catch when they see one" would not be helpful to refs reading from an NFL rule book). Also there is stuff that is ambiguous, which could use some clarifying.

To that point, on Wednesday the league unveiled their final proposal to switch up the controversial rule which would, most notably of all, hope to eliminate the requirement that the receiver control the process as he goes to the ground. The proposal, which is pretty easy to understand, was sent out via a tweet from senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron:

Riveron also tweeted out examples of plays from this past season that this new change would alter:

For those wondering what "a football move" is, ESPN clarified:

A football move, according to the proposal, will be an act such as a third step, a reach toward the line to gain yardage or the ability to perform such an act. On-field officials will be required to judge whether it occurs.

The new rule would flip controversial plays, like Calvin Johnson's last second "drop" against the Bears in 2010, and also that damn play that led to all those "Dez caught it" memes, to being ruled catches; even if that could lead to a new set of controversies since those plays are still subjective:


ESPN also clarified why the committee doesn't simply remove the third rule altogether:

The competition committee doesn't want to remove the third element entirely for two reasons. First, it would lead to fumble rulings instead of incompletions on "bang-bang" plays. Second, it would eliminate the ability to provide a defenseless receiver with protection in the immediate moments after the ball arrives.

Owners are set to vote on this proposal next week, during the league's annual meetings in Orlando.