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NFL Head Of Officiating Dean Blandino Leaving Job To ‘Pursue Other Opportunities’

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Things certainly move awfully fast in the National Football League.

Just three weeks ago, commissioner Roger Goodell announced that every single replay review in the NFL would be decided by senior VP of officiating Dean Blandino in the central office in New York.

Now, Blandino is walking away from the job.

Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport both reported Friday morning that Blandino is leaving his post with the NFL.

Rapoport added that Blandino will be taking a job in television.

NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent informed teams of Blandino’s decision, stating, “We thank Dean for his many contributions and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Vincent also said that Blandino will stay on the job until “at least the end of May” and that several qualified candidates have already expressed an interest in the job.

Blandino’s run with the league ends after four seasons, after he took the job in February 2013. Around the league, his tenure will be remembered largely for his time spent on the Dallas Cowboys’ party bus and his regular justifications of blatantly missed calls on “Official Review.” In New England, his role in DeflateGate — something he lied about publicly — will be remembered as well.

Considering how confidently Goodell spoke of Blandino’s expected new role just three weeks ago, the news comes as a surprise.

“We’re going to centralize the replay back here in New York,” Goodell said on March 23. “We want the referee’s input. … He can look at the play, be in communication back in our office with Dean Blandino, and Dean Blandino will have the final decision. We think that will move it much quicker.”

Whether that was actually the plan or whether Goodell was expressing confidence in Blandino prior to the owners’ voting on centralized replay now becomes a question.

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