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FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2011, file photo, referee Alberto Riveron makes a call in the second quarter of an NFL football preseason game between the Chicago Bears and the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon, File)
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NFL to now have some full-time officials on its roster

FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2011, file photo, referee Alberto Riveron makes a call in the second quarter of an NFL football preseason game between the Chicago Bears and the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon, File)

The NFL has had part-time referees to do its officiating for years, but their roster of officials will now reportedly have some full-timers, as first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer:

The NFLRA, the officials’ union, approved a plan on Wednesday for the implementation of 21 to 24 full-time officials, three sources said. Under the plan, each of the seven field officiating positions will be represented, with no more than five coming from one position.

Breer said the plan was negotiated with emphasis on improving the overall quality of officiating in the NFL.

There are currently 124 officials on the NFL officiating roster.

Ian Rapoport, of NFL Network and NFL.com, confirmed the report.

“We believe this is a great development for NFL officiating overall and ultimately the quality of our game,” said NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent. “We share a common goal, which is to make our game as great as it can possibly be, and look forward to working together on this new effort.”

The Associate Press contributed to this report.

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