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NFL referee responsible for Calvin Johnson catch ruling retires

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Happy trails, Gene Steratore.

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been an eventful offseason for NFL officials. Not only has the league committed to big rule changes to the catch rule and kickoffs, but the NFL is starting to lose their officials at a weirdly alarming rate. Already, the ever popular Ed Hochuli has announced his retirement. So have Terry McAulay and the controversial Jeff Triplette.

Now you can add another NFL ref to the list. Gene Steratore reportedly informed Al Riveron, the NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating, that he will hang it up after 15 years in the NFL:

Detroit Lions fans probably know Steratore best as the official who was responsible for the ruling that spawned the Calvin Johnson rule way back in 2010.

According to Football Zebras, Steratore will be joining the CBS Sports crew as a sports analysts, taking the position previously held by Mike Carey. Earlier in the week it was reported that ESPN will be hiring fellow retired referee Jeff Triplette to their Monday Night Football announcing crew.

One has to wonder why all these officials are retiring this offseason. Is it the rule changes? Our networks offering better deals than the NFL? Or is it all just a big coincidence?