The NFL will hire up to 24 full-time officials from the current crop of 124 ahead of the 2017 season, the league announced Wednesday.
“We believe this is a great development for NFL officiating overall and ultimately the quality of our game,” vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said in a release.
The NFL has garnered criticism for employing only part-time referees, many of which have jobs outside of football or have to pick up additional gigs in other sports and/or the college ranks.
“We’re the only league that has officials that have primary other jobs, which is really madness,” New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said in 2016.
“We can pay these guys. They should be full-time NFL officials, and they should be working throughout the week, communicating.”
Full-time officials will be implemented at all seven positions.
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