Football Ops

Football Ops

Protecting the integrity of the greatest game.

NFL Ops: Honoring the Game

It's our responsibility to strengthen the sport.

League Governance

Ensuring a consistent and fair game that is decided on the field, by the players.

NFL Rules Enforcement

Ensuring that players conduct themselves in a way that honors the sport and respects the game.

Fines & Appeals

The NFL's schedule of infractions and fines, and a process for appeal.

Economic & Social Impact

Honoring the league’s commitment to serve the communities where the game is played.

The NFL Ops Team

Meet the people behind NFL Operations.

The Game

The Game

Learn about the people, the jobs and the technology that deliver the best game possible to NFL fans across the U.S. and around the world. 

Gameday: Behind the Scenes

Countdown to kickoff: how NFL games happen.

Technology

In the NFL, balancing technology with tradition.

Impact of Television

How television has changed the game.

History of Instant Replay

Upon further review…

Creating the NFL Schedule

It takes hundreds of computers and four NFL executives to create the NFL's 256-game masterpiece.

The Players

The Players

Learn how NFL players have changed over time, how they’re developed and drafted and how the league works with them after their playing days are over.  

Evolution of the NFL Player

Creating an NFL player: from “everyman” to “superman.”

Development Pipeline

Supporting the next generation of players and fans.

Getting Into the Game

Preparing players of all ages for success at football’s highest level.

The NFL Draft

Introducing the next wave of NFL superstars. 

NFL Player Engagement

A look at the programs the NFL and its partners provide to help every player before, during and after his football career.

NFL Legends Community

Celebrating, educating, embracing and connecting all former NFL players with each other, their former teams and the league.

The Officials

The Officials

Discover the evolution of professional officiating, the weekly evaluation process and how the NFL identifies and develops the next generation of officials.

In Focus: History of the Official

“One thing hasn’t changed: the pressure. It will always be there.”

Inside NFL GameDay Central

The latest information from the NFL's officiating command center.

These Officials Are Really Good

Every week, officials take the field ready to put months of preparation, training and hard work on display, knowing that the whole world — and the Officiating Department — is watching.

Officiating Development

Officiating an NFL game takes years of training and experience. 

The Rules

The Rules

NFL Football Operations protects the integrity of the game by ensuring that the rules and the officiating are consistent and fair to all competitors.

In Focus: Evolution of the NFL Rules

The custodians of football not only have protected its integrity, but have also revised its playing rules to protect the players, and to make the games fairer and more entertaining.

2016 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

NFL Video Rulebook

NFL SVP of Officiating Dean Blandino explains NFL rules with video examples.

2016 Rules Changes and Points of Emphasis

NFL Overtime Rules

NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

The NFL's procedures for breaking ties for postseason playoffs.

Signals Intelligence

The NFL's familiar hand signals help fans better understand the game.   

Stats Central

Stats Central

Go inside the game with the NFL's official game stats.  Sort the stats by season or by week.

Chart The Data

Chart and compare the NFL Football Operations stats you're looking for with the NFL's data tool. 

Weekly Dashboard

Get a snapshot of the current NFL game stats, updated weekly during the regular season.

Former NFL players and guests visit in the NFL Legends Community Lounge in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Former NFL players and guests visit in the NFL Legends Community Lounge in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Last week's NFL Draft forever changed the lives of young men who won the hard-earned privilege of joining the National Football League. They will spend long hours in preparation, play the sport they love at the highest level, and form bonds with teammates, coaches, communities and fans. There will be incredible highs and also challenges for each draftee in the months and years ahead. But collectively, the class of 2015 — just as all those who have come before them — will all face one thing: a life after football.

Some like to point to those who do not do well after their playing experience. Transitioning out of any job can be difficult. In football, however, that transition is not something that former players face alone. What some commentators and fans do not fully understand is that the NFL provides extraordinary resources to support a player's success and well being both on and off the field — and long after they've left the game.  

The NFL educates, provides programs, services and resources, and works like no other employer in assisting players and former players in attaining success off the field. This education continues throughout the season for players at every club, starting with our rookie symposium. Players then must take responsibility for their future by embracing these resources and understanding how to access them.

See the programs the NFL and its partners offer the players.

I knew beginning in my rookie season in 1992 that one day my playing experience would end and I would become part of the former player community. That foresight motivated me, as a labor leader during my playing days as it does in my present position in the league office, to champion what is dear to my heart — that our NFL Legends Community is cared for properly. The NFL takes great care to make sure our drafted rookies understand from Day 1 that it's never too early to plan for life after football.

My job involves keeping our game strong and assisting those who come after me to prosper during and after their playing experience. The work ethic and values learned through our great game are tremendous assets to leverage for success in other ventures. It takes personal responsibility, preparation and determination, matched with the right support, to do so.

The resources available to our former players have improved significantly since I entered the league. They include pension and disability benefits, 401(k) contributions from respective clubs and the club-funded NFL Annuity Plan for deferred compensation. With each new round of bargaining, the NFL appreciably expanded retiree benefits during the past decade, which included dedicating more than $600 million to increase pensions for pre-1993 players in the 2011 CBA.

Beyond the mentoring and education programs, the NFL is prepared with resources at all stages of players' lives, including when they are former players — from life insurance and savings plans, to joint-replacement benefits and counseling services. The NFL is committed to being a central part of our players' lives and identities forever.

Learn about the programs and support the NFL Legends Community offers.

Our Transition Assistance Program gives recently retired players the tools and peer-to-peer support for a successful transition into a post-NFL career. Our Continuing Education Program assists newly retired players who need to complete their undergraduate degree, pursue graduate studies or utilize other educational advancement opportunities. NFL Career Boot Camps offer transitioning and retired players the opportunity to work with established professionals in various fields and learn about careers that may interest them as they move into their post-NFL years.

These programs and others have successfully assisted hundreds of players to transition into successful lives after football. You will spot them contributing to communities around the country as doctors, CEOs, teachers, policemen, judges and elected officials, just to name a few.

Contrary to some portrayals of the livelihoods of these men, the majority of former NFL players are financially responsible and have stable families. An independent study by a federal agency, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, followed more than 3,000 NFL players over several decades and found that NFL players actually enjoy longer and generally healthier lives than their counterparts in the general population. NFL retirees have access to a wide range of health programs, including cardiovascular and prostate cancer screening; mental health programs, including a year-round hotline exclusively for players and their families; and a special program of long-term care insurance for those who become ill later in life.

To be sure, some former players will struggle with the transition and there is support in those cases as well. In the last year, former NFL players and their families have received more than $225 million in pension, disability, and survivor benefits. During their careers, players accumulate additional personal savings through the annuity plan, the 401(K) plan, and the health savings account. Each vested veteran has five years of medical care after retirement at the NFL's expense, and the current CBA gives them the option to remain in the medical plan for life.

Apart from these collectively bargained benefits, the NFL Player Care Foundation has supported more than 820 former players and their families with more than $8.2 million in financial assistance grants and 3,500 health screenings. More than $40 million has been distributed through the 88 Plan created in 2007 to provide funds for medical and custodial care for dementia, ALS and Parkinson's patients. .

The NFL Draft is always so much more than the first day in the life of a professional football player. It is the first day of a life-changing experience. I know from personal experience, the NFL works to ensure that every former player has the best possible opportunity to live a productive life after his playing experience. 

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