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All 17 referees will be back for 2016

Mike Florio likes the fact that the NFL has acknowledged that mistakes happen and are trying to implement procedures to help alleviate mistakes.

When it comes to holding game officials to the ultimate degree of accountability, the NFL lacks the kind of transparency that allows the fans and media to understand that, for example, someone has been fired for poor performance.

As it relates to the 17 referees employed by the NFL, there’s no need for transparency in 2016. Via the Associated Press, the league has announced that all 17 referees will be back in 2016.

Three new officials have been hired, with no indication that any of last year’s game officials have been fired, retired, or resigned.

Of the league’s 17 referees, Pete Morelli came under the most scrutiny in 2015, due to multiple crew errors that resulted in a mass reassignment from a Sunday Night Football game. Morelli reportedly will have an entirely new crew this year.

Instead of replacing humans who are prone to human error, the NFL has recently focused on having mechanisms in place to help catch mistakes before they become irreversible. And that’s a much better outcome; with various forms of technology readily available (including cameras blanketing the field) and the ability to communicate in real time with the league office, it makes more sense to understand that mistakes will be made -- and to put in place clear and efficient procedures for correcting them.