The NFL will have a few new referees next season as the league is currently experiencing a mass exodus where officiating is concerned.
As pointed out by Warren Sharp of Fox Sports, the NFL has seen the most refs and officials leave this offseason since 2013, marking just the second time in history when exits have reached double figures in consecutive years.
“We’ve seen 12 leave this offseason most since 2013,” he tweeted. “It’s just the 2ND TIME IN NFL HISTORY that double digit refs/officials left the NFL in consecutive years. Surely beautiful reffing to follow next season.”
Football Zebras is reporting that field Judge Mike Weatherford and line judge Mike Dolce have left amid the break.
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The last time the number passed nine, a total of 14 officials left. With the offseason set to carry on for several more months, we could see a record total ahead of the 2023 season. You’d have to go all the way back to 2002-03 to find the last time there were consecutive years where departures reached double figured (10 and 13).
The league never discloses the reasons for an official leaving the league, but there are a few that are known.
The official might not meet a certain physical requirement or might simply decide that it’s time to retire. Other times, the league might ask an official to retire and hand them a severance package.
According to Football Zebra, Weatherford and Dolce did not want to leave and appealed to the NFL to have them stay. It appears their cries fell on deaf ears.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.