Report: Two more officials apparently leaving league

Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys
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Two more officials are leaving the NFL, brining the offseason retirement/departures to 12. Mark Schultz of Football Zebras reports that field judge Mike Weatherford and line judge Mike Dolce no longer are with the league.

Weatherford and Dolce apparently are not leaving willingly, per Schultz, and appealed their departures. Two officials successfully appealed their departures in 2020.

Weatherford has spent 21 years in the NFL, working as a field judge and as a side judge. He worked as a swing official last season.

His last on-field assignment was in the 2020 wild-card round, and he worked 11 playoff games in his career, including Super Bowl XLV.

Weatherford, from the Chickasaw tribe in Oklahoma, was one of two Native Americans on the officiating staff. Jerod Phillips is the other.

Dolce worked in the NFL only three seasons, most recently on Shawn Smith’s crew. He worked his first playoff game last season, getting an assignment for the Chargers-Jaguars game.

The NFL has not had as many officials leave in a single offseason since 2013 when 14 left. Ten officials departed last year.

11 responses to “Report: Two more officials apparently leaving league

  1. No one can tell me quality control is being taken seriously when Blakeman & Torber are still officiating. I wonder if Boger was run outta town or did he retire voluntarily?

  2. This smells and it’s suspicious there is this much turnover in 2 years with officials in line with legalized gambling. Hmmm.

  3. It says a couple guys successfully appealed their departures. It’d be really interesting to know how exactly that works. They were judged to be not good enough so how did they change their minds? Are there some sort of metrics used? Do they argue about individual calls they made?

  4. Are part-timers really WITH the league to begin with? Full-time or bust. With the amount vested monetarily and emotionally by 32 different fan bases, we shouldn’t have to put up with people who treat officiating like working for Doordash.

  5. You know all the guys leaving are making 50-50 calls against league interest.

  6. Until the NFL makes Referees & field officials a full-time job of which they can certainly afford – expect to see more scrutiny from fans & media alike. With gambling legal now & promoted by the NFL – unless your a player & NFL official wink..wink. You cannot tell me these referees & officials are above corruption – not everyone in the league is capable of being perfect!

  7. Somewhere Goodell and Mahomes are laughing on a video chat sending high five emojis

  8. Officially open support by the NFL of the gambling industry also opened a can of worms as far as officiating goes. It has yielded more $$$ but also exacerbated the officiating problems (which have always been there, but are now magnified).

    We can now always attribute conspiracy to a badly called game when it is probably incompetence. The NFL, the money making machine that it has been, for a few dollars more stepped on a rake that may be the thing that puts it down a peg or two. Time will tell….

  9. NFL officials should be full time and they should have a training schedule that mimics what the teams go through. The NFL wants to continue to grow and increase revenue, which is already in the $13 billion per year range.

    They can afford to have a training center (or centers) for officiating crews that would allow them to stay in shape all year, and they could also have the next generation of up and coming people in the wings, ready to take over when needed. The guys who get older and be moved upstairs to fill sky judge positions.

    You know, if the NFL cared about having top notch officiating crews.

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