Gene Steratore becomes 4th NFL official, and 2nd this week, to retire this offseason

Gene Steratore has become the fourth NFL referee -- and the second this week -- to retire this offseason in what has become an unexpected exodus from the league.

CBS Sports announced that Steratore will be a rules analyst for its NFL broadcasts this fall.

Steratore, whose last NFL game was Super Bowl LII, informed the league of his decision Friday, according to senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron.

The league did not immediately name a replacement.

Steratore followed fellow referees Ed Hochuli, Jeff Triplette and Terry McAulay into retirement.

Triplette is joining ESPN as a rules analyst and McAulay is being hired by NBC Sports, according to sources. Hochuli is serving as a consultant to Riveron. NBC also interviewed current referee Clete Blakeman for its job, but Blakeman turned it down.

In 12 seasons as an NFL referee, Steratore earned a reputation as a colorful and fair game administrator who worked with players to minimize tensions during games.

He was involved in some of the more memorable calls in recent years, including both of the incompletions -- one thrown to the Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson in 2010 and the other to the Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant in the 2014 playoffs -- that ultimately prompted a change to the catch rule this spring.

Steratore also drew attention last season when he used an index card to measure whether the Cowboys had converted a first down against the Oakland Raiders. Steratore said later that the note card was a "reaffirmation" of his initial measurement. The NFL said he did not violate any rules, and the incident did not impact the league's decision to select him to referee the Super Bowl.

Riveron, however, advised referees against using note cards in the future.