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NFL Referees Association hasn’t heard from league regarding full-time officials

While full-time referees may improve the officiating in the NFL, it would come at a significant cost -- which is why the league is unlikely to make it happen.

The NFL made news on Thursday by saying that it plans to hire up to 17 full-time officials this offseason. That news was news to the NFL Referees Association.

“Like so many things, the devil is in the details and we have yet to hear from the league on those details,” NFLRA executive director Scott Green said in a statement. “We look forward to meeting with them to discuss numerous issues, this being one of them.”

The notion of hiring some full-time officials isn’t new; the ability to do so simply hasn’t been implemented to the extent that it could be.

“We agreed in the 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement that we did not oppose using some full-time officials under certain circumstances including equitable compensation, benefits, clearly documented work duties, employee protections, etc.,” Green said. “Details such as these should be discussed in the off season.”

In other words, the NFLRA has no problem with the concept of full-time officials, as long as they receive fair compensation and protections. With some officials having lucrative primary jobs, getting them to give up their separate compensation (and the security that comes from having other work for which they aren’t regularly graded and potentially terminated if they make too many mistakes) becomes expensive.