The NFL announced that Carl Johnson has agreed to become the first full-time, on-field game official in league history, meaning he'll be leaving his position as the NFL's vice president of officiating.
The new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association allows for the hiring of full-time referees.
In his new role, Johnson will focus on the training and development of officials, the scouting of potential new officials, facilitating communication with game officials,and assisting the NFL's Competition Committee. Johnson will be based in Louisiana.
"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."
Prior to joining the NFL's front office in 2010, Johnson spent nine years as an NFL line judge. He worked eight playoff games, including Super Bowl XLII, and one Pro Bowl. The NFL said Johnson's front-office experience made him a logical choice for the NFL's plan to eventually use a limited number of full-time officials.
"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," NFL executive vice president of football pperations Ray Anderson said in a statement. "We are confident Carl will do an outstanding job."
Johnson will assume his new duties after the Super Bowl.