NFL reportedly considering moving to full-time officials in 2017

It’s almost the time of year when the NFL Competition Committee meets in Arizona to propose possible changes for the upcoming season. In the past, we’ve seen adjustments such as the touchback rule and lengthened extra-point distance, and further changes could be made relatively soon.

According to ESPN, the Competition Committee is planning to pitch the idea of full-time referees at next week’s meeting, and would like that to start in 2017.

This has been a conversation for the past few years due to a slew of missed calls by officials. Currently, they’re only part-time employees, considering there are only 256 games in a season. Some believe making them full-time would improve the quality of the officiating in the NFL.

In addition to full-time officials, the committee will also propose shorter overtime periods for the preseason and regular season, cutting them down from 15 minutes to 10. In this proposal, postseason overtime periods would remain 15 minutes in length.

The report, from NFL Network, says the committee believes there’s a “real disadvantage” for teams who are forced to play full-length overtime periods, and then prepare for a Thursday night game four days later.

This is merely a proposal, and it has to be passed before it’s instituted, but it is a necessary step in the process.

These are just some of the proposals set to be brought up next week at the Annual League Meeting. According to the Washington Post, banning players from leaping over the line of scrimmage on field goal attempts will also be proposed.

Seahawks defenders Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor – both of whom have pulled off the leap in the past – shared their thoughts on the idea Monday.

It remains to be seen if any of these changes will be approved, but they’ll at least be brought up, according to the reports.