Derrick Brooks replaces Matt Birk as appeals officer

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With former NFL center Matt Birk take a spot in the league office, an important vacancy arose.  It’ll be filled with a guy who’ll soon take a spot in the Hall of Fame.

The league has announced that Derrick Brooks will replace Birk as one of the two hearing officers for the appeal of on-field fines.

“Derrick views this game with a very unique understanding as both a player and a team president,” NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent said, referring to Brooks’ tenure as president of the AFL’s Tampa Bay Storm. “His review of appeals will be informed by experience as a player and as an executive.”

“Derrick was jointly selected by the Players and the NFL and we expect he will bring expertise and professionalism to his role as an arbitration officer,” NFLPA Senior Director of Player Affairs and Development Jason Besler said. “We look forward to working with him.”

Brooks and Ted Cottrell will handle the appeals of fines and suspensions arising from illegal hits and other on-field misconduct. They will be jointly paid by the NFL and the NFLPA, making it much different than the usual judge-jury-executioner approach the NFL applies to discipline.