Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

NFL still finalizing opt-out procedures for game officials

Mike Florio and Charean Williams look at the larger-than-expected number of NFL players who opted out of the 2020 season after the deadline passed on Thursday.

The NFL announced on Friday that it will waive the guideline that prevents an official from working a game involving the same team more than twice this season, allowing officials to work games closer to home. Whether that persuades officials to working at all in 2020 remains to be seen.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL and NFL Referees Association are still finalizing opt-out protocols for officials. Once that process has concluded, officials will have an opportunity to skip the 2020 season. At that point, the league will update the roster of officials.

Officials have different considerations when opting out than players. All officials are older than players. Most if not all officials have other jobs that will provide them with income to cover a season without officiating football games, which could result in little if no stipend payments for officials who opt out.

Regardless, more players than expected opted out. Now that the player opt-out window has closed, the NFL will have to wait and see whether and to what extent officials opt out.