Carl Johnson to be first full-time NFL official

Carl Johnson will return to the field to officiate games. (US Presswire)

Carl Johnson is set to make NFL history. Never heard of Carl Johnson? Don’t know what he looks like (like, ahem, me)? Well, you’re not alone. But if the NFL officials lockout in 2012 taught us anything, it’s that the league is interested in making the game officials better than in previous seasons.

Part of the lockout resolution was to designate a number of officials who would serve full-time roles. Which is where Johnson comes in.

On Wednesday, the NFL announced that Johnson will be the first in-game official to become a full-time league employee. Johnson had been the NFL’s vice president of officiating since 2010 and will continue in that job until Super Bowl XLVII.

But then, Johnson, who served as a line judge for nine years and worked Super Bowl XLII, will transition into his new role as a full-time official.

"Carl Johnson’s experience on the field and in New York made him uniquely qualified to help implement the new program of a limited number of full-time game officials," Ray Anderson, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, said in a statement. "We are confident Carl will do an outstanding job."

So, aside from those 20-odd days Johnson will be working games, what will he accomplish the rest of the year (assuming he doesn’t get 340 days of paid vacation)?

According to the league, he and the other yet-to-be-announced full-timers will "focus on the training and development of officials, the scouting of potential new officials, facilitating communication with game officials, and assisting the Competition Committee.”

"I’m very excited about this new challenge and returning to the field," Johnson said in a statement. "On a personal note, I am very much looking forward to rejoining my wife and son in Louisiana. That is home for me, and having a chance to be based there and to continue my work in an exciting new role is a great opportunity."

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