The NFL Referees Association announced the NFL has hired four new officials who will work the 2017 season. They include Mike Carr, Ryan Dickson, David Oliver, and Brad Rogers. All four recently participated in the NFL Officiating Development Program.
Oliver spent one season in the development program as a line judge and worked in the SEC. Rogers has been in the development program for two seasons as an eighth official (second umpire in 2015 and middle judge in 2016) and is also from the the SEC. Oliver had a preseason assignment last season. In addition to the two games as an eighth official, Rodgers also worked as the middle judge in the 2017 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which the NFL officiating department staffs with development officials.
Carr spent two seasons in the program as a side judge and was previously an official in the Big Ten. Dickson spent three seasons in the program as a field judge and previously worked in the Pac-12. Carr had an on-field assignment in the 2015 preseason, and Dickson in 2014 and 2015.
In a statement, NFLRA President Tony Steratore, said “Congratulations to Mike, Ryan, David and Brad and their families. We look forward to working with them on the field and being a resource for them off of it.” NFLRA Executive Director Scott Green added “It’s a long, tough road to become an NFL official. We congratulate these four outstanding individuals on their selection and welcome them to the union.”
In the development program, officials will get their work in during the preseason during training camp and some get Week 2 preseason game assignments before returning to their collegiate conference. Some will return to the NFL sidelines after the NCAA season concludes. At the end of the NFL season, the NFL will evaluate each member of the developmental squad and determine if they are ready to be hired into the NFL.
The NFLRA recently honored three retirees: head linesman John McGrath, line judge Tony Veteri, and side judge Bob Waggoner.
With only four hires, this confirms that the eighth NFL official is a no-go for the 2017 season.