The NFL's rulemaking competition committee is poised to change the sport's controversial catch rule by eliminating provisions related to slight movement of the football in a receiver's hands and the going-to-the-ground requirement.
The modifications could be finalized Tuesday and presented to owners of the 32 NFL teams at next week's annual meeting in Orlando, according to Troy Vincent, the league's executive vice president of football operations.
"We worked backward," Vincent said in a phone interview. "We looked at plays and said: Do you want that to be a catch? And then we applied that to the rule.
"Slight movement of the ball, it looks like we'll reverse that. Going to the ground, it looks like that's going to be eliminated. And we'll go back to the old replay standard of reverse the call on the field only when it's indisputable."
The new catch rule, Vincent said, will require only that a receiver have control of the football, and any slight movement of the football in the receiver's hands detected via replay review would not result in an incompletion.
The new rule will eliminate the requirement that a receiver who is in the process of going to the ground while making a catch must maintain control of the football while on the turf to be awarded a legal catch.
The replay standard for overturning an on-field ruling of a catch will be indisputable video evidence rather than clear and obvious.
"The Dez Bryant play, that'd be a catch" under the new rule, Vincent said, mentioning a series of controversial non-catch calls over the years. "The Jesse James play, that'd be a catch."