NFL owners unanimously approve simplified catch rule

All 32 NFL teams were in agreement, the league has previously dropped the ball on the catch rule.

League owners unanimously approved a simplified version of what constitutes a completion for the 2018 season on Tuesday. Under the new wording, a catch will require control, two feet (or another body part) in bounds and a football move such as a third step or reaching/extending for the line-to-gain. Gone is the "going-to-the-ground" element of the previous rule.

Al Riveron, the NFL's senior vice president of officiating, said last week the league's competition committee would recommend simplifying the language of the catch rule and that the proposed changes would be presented this week at the league meeting. Riveron said the league had been examining footage of multiple plays to help shape the new catch rule.

The rule modification is designed with several disputed catches in big games over the years in mind, including Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James' overturned touchdown against the New England Patriots last season, Dez Bryant's overturned catch in the 2014 playoffs and Calvin Johnson's overturned, would-be game-winning touchdown in 2010.

7 PHOTOS
Dez Bryant's infamous no-catch from 2014 playoffs
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Dez Bryant's infamous no-catch from 2014 playoffs
Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is unable to catch a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields (37) in the fourth quarter in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is unable to catch a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields (37) in the fourth quarter in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is unable to catch a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields (37) in the fourth quarter in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is unable to make a catch against Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields (37) in the fourth quarter in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is unable to catch a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields (37) in the fourth quarter in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is unable to catch a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields (37) in the fourth quarter in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is unable to catch a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields (37) in the fourth quarter in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
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"We want to take these great catches and make them into catches," Riveron said at a news conference Monday.

Also approved Tuesday is the making permanent of the rule that changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line and the authorization of the designated member of the officiating department to instruct on-field game officials to disqualify a player for a flagrant non-football act when a foul for that act is called on the field.

15 PHOTOS
Controversial catch rulings from Super Bowl LII
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Controversial catch rulings from Super Bowl LII
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles scores an 11-yard fourth quarter touchdown past Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Philadelphia Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz (86) crosses the goal line for the game winning touchdown in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl LII on February 04, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The Eagles defeated the Patriots 41-33. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Philadelphia Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz (86) bobbles the ball before regaining control for the game winning touchdown in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl LII on February 04, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The Eagles defeated the Patriots 41-33. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Philadelphia Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz (86) bobbles the ball before regaining control for the game winning touchdown in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl LII on February 04, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The Eagles defeated the Patriots 41-33. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) makes a touchdown catch during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Philadelphia Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz (86) bobbles the ball before regaining control for the game winning touchdown in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl LII on February 04, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The Eagles defeated the Patriots 41-33. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles makes an 11-yard touchdown catch during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles catches a 11 yard touchdown pass against the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Philadelphia Eagles Running Back Corey Clement (30) catches a Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Nick Foles (9) pass for a 1st quarter touchdown as New England Patriots Linebacker Marquis Flowers (59) and New England Patriots Safety Devin McCourty (32) defend during Super Bowl LII on February 04, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The Eagles defeated the Patriots 41-33. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Corey Clement (L) of the Eagles scores against the Patriots during Super Bowl LII between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on February 4, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARY / ALTERNATIVE CROP (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Philadelphia Eagles Running Back Corey Clement (30) catches a Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Nick Foles (9) pass for a 1st quarter touchdown as New England Patriots Linebacker Marquis Flowers (59) and New England Patriots Safety Devin McCourty (32) defend during Super Bowl LII on February 04, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The Eagles defeated the Patriots 41-33. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Corey Clement #30 of the Philadelphia Eagles catches a 22 yard touchdown pass against Marquis Flowers #59 and Patrick Chung #23 of the New England Patriots during the third quarter in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Corey Clement #30 of the Philadelphia Eagles catches a 22 yard touchdown pass against Marquis Flowers #59 and Patrick Chung #23 of the New England Patriots during the third quarter in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Feb 4, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Corey Clement (30) celebrates his touchdown catch in the third quarter against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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--Field Level Media

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