Connect with us


NFL hires 5 new officials to fill opt-out vacancies

The NFL has hired new officials to replace those that took a leave of absence in 2020.



Following the opting out of five on-field NFL officials due to covid-19-related concerns, a second wave of officiating hires took place, adding 5 new officials to the league’s roster.

Two replay officials are also sidelining themselves as well, and the league will tap its current staff of replay assistants to fill those vacancies.

As has been the case since the 2014 season, all new hires for field positions come out of the Officiating Development Program, a pool of about 50 officials who shadowed NFL officiating crews in training camps and preseason. The program obviously was on hold this year, although development officials are still involved in remote activities.

The newly hired officials are listed below, with their most recent ODP position and uniform number (if worked a preseason game), their college conference, and the number of years in the ODP program (which also includes years assigned to college exhibition games, such as the Senior Bowl, that the NFL selects the officiating crews for scouting purposes).

ODP YrsCollege conference
LJ 141 Tom Eaton 3 SEC NFL preseason 2017, 2019, AAF, XFL
LJ 148 Daniel Gallagher 1 Big Ten NFL preseason 2019
SJ 152 Anthony Flemming 3 Big 12 National Championship Game 2017, NFL preseason 2019, AAF, XFL
BJ 139 Grantis Bell 3 SEC Orange Bowl 2016, Cotton Bowl 2017, NFL preseason 2018, AAF, XFL
BJ Dominique Pender 1 Big Ten Big Ten Championship 2019

It is not clear if these are single-year or permanent hires by the league. Seeing as there are only 5 new officials, this staff increase can easily be offset by the officials who retire in spring 2021 and by increasing the number of swing officials.

Cam Filipe is a forensic scientist and has been involved in football officiating for 12 years. Cam is in his fourth season as a high school football official. This is his ninth season covering NFL officiating for Football Zebras.

Continue Reading