NFL caught off guard by Dean Blandino’s departure

AP

Last month, the NFL gave Dean Blandino unprecedented power, giving the head of officiating final say over replay reviews for the first time. Today, news broke that Blandino is quitting the NFL to work for FOX.

That news reportedly came as a surprise at the league office.

Ed Werder reported on ESPN that several league sources were caught off guard by Blandino’s departure, with one unnamed source calling it “shocking.” Werder said that Blandino was already considering leaving to work in broadcasting when the league decided to centralize instant replay authority in his office, but league officials apparently didn’t know Blandino was considering leaving.

Werder said one of the reasons the Competition Committee was able persuade the owners to change the rules is that the owners were confident Blandino would do the job well, and it’s unclear whether the rule would have been changed at all if the owners had known Blandino was leaving.

Perhaps the NFL should have signed Blandino to a multi-year contract that precluded him from leaving to go into broadcasting before changing the rules in a way that gave him unprecedented power. Or just paid him a salary that would be enough to make him reject any TV offers.

32 responses to “NFL caught off guard by Dean Blandino’s departure

  1. Now he gets paid a boatload and works far less. He also gets to be on the broadcast and get his face out there.

    Bonus, he no longer has to deal with working for the NFL.

  2. Based on Blandino’s explanation and backing of failed ref judgements the past few years, I’m glad he is leaving.

  3. “Perhaps the NFL should have signed Blandino to a multi-year contract that precluded him from leaving to go into broadcasting before changing the rules in a way that gave him unprecedented power. Or just paid him a salary that would be enough to make him reject any TV offers.”

    Exactly! I wonder how well the system will work this year. Any blown calls under the new system can be blamed on the transition of new personnel.

  4. “Now he gets paid a boatload and works far less. He also gets to be on the broadcast and get his face out there.”
    _________

    The working less is true but no way is he going to make more for a few minutes of air time a week than what he was getting paid by the NFL. He also had his face on TV fairly often already which was only going to increase with him handling all the replay reviews. Really, the broadcasting thing makes very little sense unless he was pushed out or decided he just couldn’t take working for Goodell any longer.

  5. The competition committee or any other committee should never make any rules based the matter of who is employed by the league. That’s not thought out well.

  6. I can’t wait for the behind the scenes story of just what the commissioner and a cartel of owners plotted to stick it to a few organisations while turning a blind eye towards other favored franchises. Maybe, just maybe Blandino is the first rat of many to abandon ship before it sinks.

  7. “Or just paid him a salary that would be enough to make him reject any TV offers.”
    ————-

    Think you are spot on here MDS. Want to keep quality (or what you think are quality) employees, pay them to stay put. Then they wont leave.

  8. Will the league hire him back in a few years when the networks figure out that the audience doesn’t really want to listen to a former ref’s analysis? The couple of refs that do it now really don’t add anything to the broadcast.

  9. “Or just paid him a salary that would be enough to make him reject any TV offers.”
    __________

    Well, so far there is no announced job which is pretty strange in itself. Why would he announce his departure before the TV job was locked in? Normally, the network would like to announce the hiring in the same news cycle as the departure to get the maximum attention. And they wouldn’t do it on a Friday. Something is just a bit off.

    And how much does somebody like Mike Pereira make? I’m sure it’s good money but could it really be more than Blandino was making from the NFL? His boss made $40 million a year and Blandino was probably the second or third highest profile guy there after Goodell. He had to be well into 7 figures. A rules analyst does nothing to bring in extra viewers and is on air for a few minutes a week. If Pereira is out-earning top NFL executives it’d be totally bizarre.

  10. at first, i thought he would be leaving to drive jerry jones cowboys party bus before fox stepped in.

  11. The NFL makes billions every year but are notoriously cheap when it comes to employees and salaries other than the top execs.

  12. Good. The NFL dodged a bullet here. Every challenge that went for the Cowboys, against there opponents, or against a NFC East Rival would have been questioned if he was in charge of all replays. For good reason too. The guy is beyond biased when it comes to the Cowboys. Any official who goes out partying with only 1 front office in the NFL and celebrates when they score touchdowns against division rivals doesn’t belong anywhere near the officiating of games.

  13. Blandino must have gotten tired of cobbling together lie after lie to excuse the awful officiating shoved down the fans throats every week.

  14. Who cares?
    The NFL officiating is a debacle.
    Having an ex-official in the booth is a joke.
    Having the announcers and analysts giving us their opinion on these calls, is also a joke. I mute these and watch the red zone. Cuts down on commercials and the BS spewed by these overpaid hairdos,

  15. Even Baghdad Bob had self respect for Pete’s sake.
    Blandino trotting out there to tell you up is down, black is white is as embarrassing as watching Sean Spicer present alternative facts on behalf of our ‘president’.

  16. Id offer to do the job but I have too much integrity to not do what im told in changing calls so certain teams can win!

  17. Blind Dino gone ?

    …… that’s a shame; with some of the crazy explanations he came up with to try and explain away some of the goofy calls, his interjections bordered on the comical….. in a John Oliver kind of way.

  18. mmack66 says:
    Apr 14, 2017 6:11 PM

    He knew that he was about to become the fall guy, so he got the hell out of there.

    ———————-

    This.

    Seriously, who wants to be the face of a flubbed call for a notoriously cheap business? The cheerleaders basically work for free. They don’t want to pay regular referees enough to make them give up 250k jobs. And this is a 50 BILLION business? Imbeciles.

    I wouldn’t want to be the fall guy every Monday morning either. Goodell may like being hated and booed every draft, but who else wants to be a publicly loathed figure?

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