It was revealed last week that the NFL has shelved full-time officiating as part of ongoing labor discussions with the NFL Referees Association. Al Riveron, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, confirmed the move during the league’s annual officiating clinic last weekend.
“Well, again, as you know, we’re now in negotiations as it pertains to a new CBA, and that’s all part of the negotiation process,” Riveron said. “At this time, yes, the contract expired for the full-time game officials. But we’re still in the process of negotiations, so that could change.”
Riveron said plenty of off-field work remains for the former full-time officials who now are part time.
“Well, the way you look at it is we still have the opportunity in season to use certain officials to do certain things – communicate with clubs, club visits, special meetings that we have, mechanics meetings, video work,” Riveron said. “That part hasn’t changed, and we still have the ability under the current contract to bring the officials in.”
The current labor deal between the NFL and its officials runs through March 2020. No one wants a repeat of 2012 when the league locked out its officials, hiring temporary replacements whose three weekends of work was summed up in the “Fail Mary.”