NFL considering making referees full-time

Sarah Thomas
FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2013, file photo, NFL referee Sarah Thomas works the game in the second half of an NFL preseason football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Oakland Raiders at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Sarah Thomas is that much closer to taking the field as the NFL's first female official. She's part of a clinic for all refs with most training camps about two weeks away from opening. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NFL is considering making referees full-time employees and centralizing replay review at its New York headquarters as it aims for more consistent, shorter games.

Those were the major topics of discussion when the league’s competition committee met Tuesday in advance of the league’s annual scouting combine.

Falcons president Rich McKay, chairman of the competition committee, noted that the collective bargaining agreement allows the league to hire as many as 17 full-time officials. “That is being discussed,” he told The Associated Press after the meeting.

The positives, McKay said, are better, centralized training and, ultimately, greater consistency between crews.

Broncos boss John Elway, another member of the competition committee, said the caveat is that these referees have successful careers outside of football and they may not want to give up their day jobs.

 

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