Troy Vincent, NFL vice president of football operations, has told the Associated Press that the league is planning to hire 17 full-time officials who will supplement the current crop of part-time officials.

The league’s CBA allows a maximum of 17 officials to be hired on a full-time basis, and the current part-time officials will remain that way. Vincent told the AP that the additional hires will allow the league to spend more time on year-round training and consultation.

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The new full-time hires would allow each officiating crew to expand from seven to eight people, although it’s still unclear where the additional official would be placed on the field. From the AP:

What has yet to be decided is where the additional official would line up on the field. One proposal is to introduce a middle sideline judge to monitor interior defensive line penalties. Another is to have the official oversee hits to the quarterback.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like we are in line for a lot more rhythm-destroying holding penalties and dubious personal foul calls that will get everyone super upset. I can’t wait!

[AP]