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.

2017 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2017 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.

The NFL Ops Team

Meet the people behind NFL Operations.

The people behind Football Operations bring to the NFL a wealth of knowledge and experience in both football and business. Led by Executive Vice President Troy Vincent, they work to honor the game’s rich traditions and position the sport for long-term success. Meet the Football Operations team.

Meet the Team

Troy Vincent

Executive Vice President of Football Operations

Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of Football Operations, informs the business of the NFL through the unique lens of his previous roles as a player, a player’s union president, and the Senior Vice President of Player Engagement. He employs the highest standards to enhance and preserve football and its value to society.

His transformational leadership approach promotes professional development of staff, players, coaches and officials by applying a vision of clarity, consistency and credibility to all aspects of football operations. Vincent holds a broad range of responsibilities for the business of football, including game analytics, accountability, integrity of the game, development and growth, and policies and procedures relating to NFL games, including protecting players from unnecessary risk.

“It’s a great blessing to have moved from serving our fans as a player to now serving them through the operations of the game. Football transcends race, age, gender and other elements of society and creates community by bringing people together across our great nation,” says Vincent.  “The future of football is bright because the integration of technology, technique, and rule adjustments are making our game progressively better.”

Vincent long has been a promoter of the character and leadership values that football contributes to society. He is the only player in history to have received the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award, NFL Players Association Byron Whizzer White Award, Sporting News #1 Good Guy, and NFL Athletes in Action Bart Starr Award. Vincent is considered a national leader as an advocate against domestic violence and sexual assault.

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Dave Gardi

NFL Senior Vice President of Football Operations

As Senior Vice President of Football Operations Policy and Compliance, Dave Gardi employs a unique combination of legal background and a lifetime of football knowledge to ensure that all football operations are in compliance with policy, process and rules.

Gardi is the gatekeeper of policies and procedures that control competitive balance, where he utilizes a Juris Doctorate in Law from Hofstra as the watchdog over integrity of the game policies, and rules administration on game day. As a former quarterback for Brown University, Gardi is also a driving force in communicating the department’s accountability initiatives to clubs, coaches and players.

“It is of utmost importance to every club, its owners, coaches, players and our fans that the rules of football and the policies impacting the game be communicated with clarity, consistency, and credibility,” says Gardi. “Moreover, there must be a fair and level playing field to ensure competitive balance, resulting in a world-class contest with every game.”

A devoted husband and father of two, Gardi began his journey with the NFL in 2003. Prior to joining Football Operations, he served as Vice President of Labor Relations and Football Administration where he advised clubs on matters related to the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, including player contracts, salary cap, club discipline, League policies, and workers compensation.

“Dave has parlayed a strong family football pedigree with playing experience and a law degree to provide our department with not only a deep understanding of the game, but also what it takes to keep it fair, balanced and competitive,” said Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “Dave knows the business of football, knows football, and knows how to administer the game, and that’s a powerful combination.”

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Alberto Riveron

Senior Vice President of Officiating

Alberto Riveron, a member of the NFL’s Officiating Department since 2013 and a nine-year veteran NFL game official, is the NFL senior vice president of officiating.

Riveron oversees all aspects of the league’s officiating department – including the implementation of the centralized replay model approved by clubs at the annual meeting in March – as well as administration, evaluation and development.

A native of Cuba, Riveron moved to Miami at age five with his family and developed a passion for the game. He began as an official in local youth leagues in 1977, made his collegiate officiating debut in 1990 before joining the NFL officiating ranks in 2004. In 2008, Riveron was promoted to referee, earning the distinction as the NFL’s first Hispanic referee. Riveron came off the field following the 2012 season to join the league office as senior director of officiating.

“Al has done a terrific job as a key member of our officiating staff for the past four seasons,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Prior to that, Al was an outstanding on-field official who earned the respect of his fellow officials, as well as coaches and players alike.”

Reporting to Riveron, who reports to NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent, are Russell Yurk, vice president of instant replay and administration, and Wayne Mackie, vice president of officiating evaluation and development.

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Dawn Aponte

Chief Football Administrative Officer

Dawn Aponte, Chief Football Administrative Officer, brings a wealth of football experience at the team and league level to the NFL. Aponte is responsible for driving Football Operations initiatives, facilitating communication and management of the day-to-day operations, and assisting in building relationships with club owners, presidents and executives.

Aponte was most recently an executive with RSE Ventures, an international sports, entertainment and tech firm co-founded by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and club vice-chairman Matt Higgins.

Prior to RSE, she spent seven seasons with the Miami Dolphins, last serving as executive vice president of football administration. Aponte joined the Dolphins after one year as vice president of football administration with the Cleveland Browns. Before that, she spent three years as the vice president of labor finance with the NFL Management Council. Aponte started her career in football with the New York Jets, where she spent more than 15 years in various capacities, most recently as the club’s senior director of football administration.

Throughout her 25 years in football, Aponte has developed expertise in matters relating to contract negotiations, salary cap management, labor and CBA issues, and day-to-day management of the football business and administration operations.

Aponte serves on USA Football’s Board of Directors where she helps guide the sport’s national governing body in leading the game’s development for youth, high school and other amateur football players.

Aponte earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Delaware and passed the C.P.A. exam shortly thereafter. She went on to receive a master’s degree in Finance and Management from Wagner College, then continued on to earn a Juris Doctorate from New York Law School. Aponte is a member of the New York State Bar.

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Rod Graves

Senior Vice President of Football Administration and Club Services

Rod Graves, Senior Vice President Football Administration and Club Services, has contributed to the business of professional football as a scout, as a director of player personnel, as a vice president of football operations, and as a general manager. This informs his ability to develop the game at all levels and to provide world-class service to our NFL teams.

Graves applies his insight and deep understanding of football operations to oversee all club and game-related initiatives related to the NFL competition committee, general managers and head coaches.  Graves is responsible for the strategic development of coaching, scouting, officiating, and front office personnel, international players and coaches, the combine series, college relations and the player pipeline.

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on our game in so many different ways,” said Graves. “The sustainability of our game depends on developing our personnel toward a standard of excellence both on and off the field.

Graves came to NFL Football Operations from the New York Jets, where he was Senior Director of Football Operations. Prior to that, he worked as a scout for the Chicago Bears, and as general manager for the Arizona Cardinals.

“Rod brings a depth of club and football knowledge to our department,” says Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of NFL Football Operations. “Rod is a man of high integrity and his experience over the past 30 years is informed by multiple aspects of the business of football from scouting to player personnel to general manager. His insight is invaluable as he contributes to developing our great game.” 

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Arthur McAfee

Senior Vice President of Player Engagement

Arthur McAfee, Senior Vice President of Player Engagement, brings years of experience as a professional and college sports attorney to NFL Football Operations. McAfee oversees NFL Player Engagement, which assists players reach their potential on and off the field by providing guidance, support and resources before, during and after their NFL careers.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to maximize the resources and network of the NFL to improve the NFL experience for the entire player community,” McAfee said.

McAfee is a founding partner of The McAfee Group, a consulting firm that advises sports leagues and organizations, agents, athletes and others on sports-related business and legal affairs. Prior to that, McAfee was a staff counsel for the NFL Players Association and an enforcement representative for the NCAA.

“Arthur brings a distinguished body of work in player advocacy to our team,” said Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent. “His vast experience will further assist our department in advancing the game by serving all players — past, present and future.”

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