The league’s officiating office acknowledges that there’s some merit to Saints coach Sean Payton’s push for full-time officials.
NFL V.P. of Officiating Dean Blandino says Payton, who said on PFT Live that it’s “madness” for NFL games to be called by part-timers, may be on to something.
“This is definitely something we’ve discussed in the past and we definitely are going to continue to explore ways to have more full-time opportunities for our officials,” Blandino said on NFL Network. “And when you look at our group of officials, the referees are critical in this area because they communicate with our crews, they’re crew leaders and so we’re looking at potentially a way to make some of our referees full-time or have more opportunities to work with them. So that’s something that we’ll continue to look at and it will be on the agenda during the offseason.”
Some NFL officials already are full-time employees, but the majority are moonlighting from other full-time jobs. The league may want to avoid turning them into full-timers to save money, but there are also some who don’t want to leave their full-time jobs and would likely quit officiating if forced to choose. Those are some of the complications that will arise if the league makes a push for full-time officials, and some of the reasons it may not happen, even as Payton makes a strong case that it should.