The topic of full-time officials in the NFL has been bandied about for some time and it looks like there is some movement toward putting some in place.
Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reports that the NFL Referees Association has approved a plan to put 21-24 full-time officials in place. Those officials will come from the current roster and encompass all seven positions on the field with no more than five selected from any individual position.
There has been an option to put full-time officials in place since 2012, but NFLRA executive director Scott Green said earlier this year that the union was still looking for clarity on several questions before moving forward with a plan. Among them was how you move seasonal employees to a full-time position in a way that makes sense financially for all involved.
Breer reports that the full-time officials “will be able to have outside employment,” although it’s not clear how that would work or what responsibilities full-time officials would have that their part-time colleagues will not.
UPDATE 3:30 p.m. ET: The NFL and NFLRA announced a plan to hire up to 24 full-time officials.