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Dean Blandino, Head Of Officiating For NFL, Leaving To Pursue "Other Options"

Dean Blandino is leaving the NFL to spend more time with his family and explore other opportunities.

Officiating in the NFL will look very different next year. Dean Blandino, head of officiating since 2013, will step down from his position in May and will pursue other opportunities.

According to ESPN, the NFL released the following statement on Blandino's retirement.

"Dean has done an outstanding job leading our officiating staff. He's been a trusted colleague and a friend to so many of us around the league. Dean's knowledge of the playing rules, his tireless commitment to improving the quality of NFL officiating, and his unquestioned dedication to his job has earned him the respect of the entire football community."

So what are other opportunities Blandino will seek? According to Adam Schefter, Blandino could become the next Mike Pereira -- who is a rules analyst with Fox.

Blandino joined the NFL as an intern in 1994 and quickly moved through the ranks. He was an instant replay official for four years and worked on two Super Bowls and two conference championship games. Blandino worked under Mike Pereira as the director of officiating from 2007-2009 before he left to start his own business. Blandino returned to the NFL in 2012 and succeeded Carl Johnson as chief of officiating the next year. [ESPN] UPDATE: Blandino will reportedly join CBS.

He will likely be teamed up with Tony Romo.