NFL hires 21 full-time officials, including 4 referees

NEW YORK (AP) The NFL has hired 21 officials to work on a full-time basis, including four referees.

Those refs are Brad Allen, Walt Anderson, Jerome Boger and Pete Morelli.

Overall, there are representatives of all seven on-field officiating positions.

Both the league and the officials' union agreed to experiment with full-time officials as part of the current collective bargaining agreement. In August, the NFL said it would hire full-time game officials for the 2017 season.

''What we want at the end of the day is consistency,'' says Alberto Riveron, who took over as the league's top officiating director when Dean Blandino left earlier this year for TV work. ''The better we can get our message out to the crews, the better off we all are. What I see is bringing the officials into the office during the week. They are full-time, so their first responsibility is to us.

''We are going to have officials from each of the seven positions, we are going to have a cross-section of officials from all of the crews that will be coming into the office to help us put video together and identify videos. They will help us with the evaluation process of our officiating developmental staff, and also help us with selecting certain plays of interest that we could use mechanically to get better and more consistent.''

In the past, NFL game officials had other jobs, including some lucrative ones.

The most experienced official hired full-time is line judge Mark Steinkerchner, now in his 24th NFL season. Least experienced is side judge Jonah Monroe with three years.

Other full-time officials will be umpires Barry Anderson, Dan Ferrell and Bill Schuster; down judges Derick Bowers and Ed Camp; line judges Rusty Baynes, Julian Mapp and Mark Perlman; field judges Tom Hill and Steve Zimmer; side judge Boris Cheek; and back judges Steve Freeman, Scott Helverson, Terrence Miles and Greg Steed.

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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