It was announced earlier in the summer that the NFL would in fact employ nearly two-dozen full-time officials for the 2017 season. It’s the first time that the league has gone to the extent of hiring full-time zebras.
The league has now officially made the move, hiring 21 full-time officials out of a pool of a 124-person roster.
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) September 6, 2017
The notable names here include Walt Anderson and Pete Morelli, both of whom have over two decades of officiating experience in the NFL.
It remains to be seen if this will improve the overall quality of officiating in the league, but it most definitely can’t hurt. We’ll see early returns in Week 1, starting with Thursday’s game between the defending champion New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.