NFL Plans To Hire 24 Full-Time Referees Ahead Of 2017 Season

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The league announced Wednesday that it will be hiring as many as 24 full-time game officials out of the current roster of 124 officials.

The deal amends the officials' collective bargaining agreement for one year and must be renewed in June 2018 for the program to continue, according to NFLRA executive director Scott Green. The full-time officials will come from the current pool of referees.

"NFL officials are always looking to improve, and we believe that additional time, particularly in the offseason, will be positive", Green said.

Based on the league's release, it sounds like the NFL will attempt to weave these full-time officials into the regular rotation of officiating crews throughout the season. Additionally, the league and the NFLRA certainly want to see that the investment is going to pay dividends before they fully commit to additional full-time officials. Current officials who are interested in working the job full time will be allowed to apply for the jobs.

More news: Ireland team change London hotel after norovirus outbreak

The NFL agreed not to compel transition to full-time status for any particular official.

Full-time officials will be allowed to keep outside jobs as long as they agree to make the National Football League their top professional priority.

Another significant change this season will be that designated members of the NFL's officiating department will be authorized to make the final decision on replay reviews from league headquarters in NY.

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