Five on-field, two replay officials opt out of 2020 season

Seven NFL officials have opted out of the 2020 season.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Friday that five on-field officials and two replay officials have taken a leave of absence for the 2020 season, per sources informed of the situation.

The NFL announced that the five on-field officials opting out are line judge Jeff Bergman, back judge Steve Freeman, field judge Greg Gautreaux, field judge Joe Larrew and back judge Tony Steratore.

The deadline for refs to opt out was Thursday, according to the agreement between the NFL and NFL Referee Association.

Any official with concerns about COVID-19 could voluntarily elect to take a leave and would receive $30,000 and guaranteed job protection for the 2021 season. Any official who tests positive during the season will be treated as an injury sustained while performing league-sanctioned or required activity and be entitled to injury pay, medical expenses and other benefits.

Overall, it’s good news for the NFL that so few refs decided to take a year off, meaning the league won’t have to scramble to fill a ton of spots on short notice.

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