In the wake of the replacement official debacle, league insiders were buzzing about the possibility that NFL V.P. of football operations Ray Anderson will be fired.
Of course, folks with first-tier NFL jobs rarely are ever fired in the traditional sense. The perceived protocol entails waiting for the dust to settle so that it’s not an obvious knee-jerk response and then allowing the person to transition into a high-profile job with one of the 32 teams.
As to Anderson, who is regarded as the person who mistakenly concluded that the replacement officials would do well enough to hold down the fort during the lockout of the real officials and whose statements about the real officials has undermined in many respects his ability to lead them, a source with knowledge of the dynamics among the owners tells PFT that Anderson most likely won’t be let go.
Instead, Anderson is expected to be assigned a position with less overall responsibility, with at a minimum the officiating department moving out from under his control. Part of that change will flow from the damage done to the relationship between the league office and the officials as a result of the lockout. Part of that, as the source explained it, also will come from the fact that Anderson simply has too much under his umbrella of jurisdiction.
We also have developed the distinct impression that, as the NFL continues to grow and thrive, key management positions no longer will automatically go to “football people” who graduated from other jobs in the football business to significant jobs in the league office. Instead, the league could start looking for folks from other industries who have demonstrated the ability to handle high-paying, high-profile, high-power jobs that entail operating under a high-powered microscope.