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.

NFL Way to Play

Knees Bent. Pads Down. Head Up.

The NFL and HBCUs

The NFL is proud of the HBCU professional football legacy.

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.


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.

NFL Video Rulebook

The NFL Video Rulebook explains NFL rules with video examples.

2018 NFL Rulebook

Explore the official rules of the game.

2018 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.   

Football 101

Football 101

Terms Glossary

Sharpen your NFL football knowledge with this glossary of the game's fundamental terms. 

Formations 101

See where the players line up in pro football's most common offensive and defensive formations.

Quick Guide to NFL TV Graphics

Understand what the graphics on NFL television broadcasts mean and how they can help you get the most out of watching NFL games.

NFL Instant Replay Process

The NFL’s instant replay review process focuses on expediting instant replay reviews and ensuring consistency. Learn how it works.

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.

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.

Every player who has earned the privilege of playing in the NFL has access, through NFL Player Engagement, to educational resources and programs that can prepare them to lead healthy and successful lives, on and off the field.
Thomas Wirthensohn

Thomas Wirthensohn

Player Engagement (PE) provides each player and those closest to him — family, coaches and anyone he looks to for support — with programs and tools to help him succeed as he enters the league, during his career and long after he hangs up the pads.

PE touches on every aspect of a player’s life. A player’s success is not only measured in the wins and accolades achieved on the playing field, rather it is a combination of those achievements and   the achievements and life experiences away from the game.

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

Life After the Game

Eventually, every football player has to walk away from the game he loves. Players, who have pursued their football careers with unwavering dedication for most of their lives, may struggle with this transition. That’s why the NFL provides former players with information, education and opportunities so that they can continue to make an impact, whether in football or in other pursuits.

The same qualities that led to their success in football — a strong work ethic, leadership skills, commitment and determination — help players build a prosperous and healthy future off the field. Former NFL players are lawyers, entertainers, bankers and, not surprisingly, coaches, officials and executives.

NFL Player Engagement Next/Legends and its partner organizations work with players and assist them in identifying their next career paths, connect with peers and legends, and learn ways to live well long after they play their final down.

Explore New Careers

  • At the NFL Business Academy, business leaders provide current and former players and their significant others with the wisdom, insight and practical skills needed to own, build and operate a business and to evaluate business opportunities. The program emphasizes franchising, real estate and product design.
  • The Legends Officiating Development Program gives former players an accelerated path into a football officiating career. NFL alumni get the opportunity to use their unique knowledge of football and world-class athleticism to stay involved with the game they love.
  • Active players can use their off seasons to prepare for life after the game by working with Player Engagement on career development. PE will help a player customize his offseason with opportunities to learn about a career through a job shadow or an internship, or to build his professional network and develop skills that he can use in all aspects of his life.
  • NFL Continuing Education Program (CEP) assists current and former NFL players in finding educational opportunities to prepare for life after football. Whether it’s completing an undergraduate degree or pursuing graduate studies, the CEP partners with colleges and universities to design plans that allow players to achieve their educational goals. The CEP assists players with identifying accredited schools, providing guidance on meeting admission requirements and preparing their applications.

Stay Connected

  • The NFL Legends Community celebrates and recognizes everyone who played in the NFL — whether for one game or for ten seasons. NFL Legends celebrate, educate, embrace and connect all former NFL players around the country with each other, their former teams and the league. Legends representatives help players to stay connected to their football family and to learn about programs and benefits available to them now that their playing careers are over.
  • The NFL Bridge to Success Program connects players entering or leaving the league with NFL Transition Coaches — highly trained former players who mentors their peers and offer support and guidance to help players move toward their total wellness goal.

Get More Support 

The NFL partners with several organizations to provide current and former players — no matter how long they have been out of the league — and their families with resources and support:

  • The NFL Players Association assists current and former players and anyone in the NFL family with financial guidance, legal support and health and wellness information.
  • The NFL Player Care Foundation offers assistance to qualified former players experiencing financial hardship or certain health issues.
  • The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund, founded by former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, provides former players who played more than three years in the league (and meet other criteria) with assistance related to medical, dental, housing and other emergency needs.
  • The Trust is an organization committed to a former player’s wellbeing. With customized gameplans, The Trust meets each former player where he is in his transition. The Trust provides transitioning football players with the support they need to ensure their success off the field and in life. Wherever you are in your transition there is a team that is ready to assist with what's next.

Stay Healthy

  • NFL Total Wellness initiative works to provide current and former players and their families with a comprehensive set of resources designed to help everyone stay healthy and live well — physically, emotionally and financially — long after they have left the game.
  • Pensions and disabilities department informs current and former players who have certain medical or mental health conditions or are at retirement age about any financial benefits they are eligible to receive, including monthly pensions.

Resources for Active/Former Players

Thomas Wirthensohn

Thomas Wirthensohn

The NFL’s commitment to ensuring that every incoming player has the tools necessary to succeed on and off the field begins as soon as they enter the league. All first-year players — drafted and undrafted — participate in the NFL Rookie Transition Program, the most comprehensive onboarding program in professional sports. The program reaches all NFL rookies and provides them with an understanding of the league’s expectations of them, the benefits they have earned and the local resources available to them.

NFL Player Engagement Life provides current NFL players with personal and professional development resources to help them and their families take full advantage of the opportunities afforded to them by their NFL experience.

The league’s programs and partnerships connect players with experts who can help them take care of themselves personally, emotionally, physically and financially now and after they stop playing, and help them continue their education.

  • NFL Life Line is a confidential, independently operated resource for current and former NFL players, coaches, team and league staff, and their family members. They can call (800) 506-0078 or chat online to talk to trained counselors who assist with personal or emotional crises. The system protects callers’ privacy and does not share any information with the NFL, teams or other organizations.
  • The NFL’s Players Assistance and Counseling Services Program Employee Assistance Program (EAP), operated by Cigna, connects members of the NFL family with specially designed services. The EAP is available for current and former players and anyone who lives in the household of an eligible current or former NFL player and includes access to eight free confidential counseling sessions per issue.
  • A network of mental health professionals regularly consults with the league and with clubs on best practices for enhancing total wellness among teams, staff and their families. They encourage and empower players and staff to seek support when they are dealing with personal and mental health issues.


The NFL knows that developing talent is about more than creating great football players — it’s about creating great people. That’s why the league supports programs that provide young men and women with the resources and skills to help them achieve success in life, no matter where their path may lead.

NFL Player Engagement Prep focuses on aspiring collegiate and professional athletes. Stressing education and degree completion, community service and leadership development, the programs provide student-athletes in football and other sports with advice, training, information, tools and resources to assist them in finding success on and off the field.

Not all players make it to the pros, so the NFL looks for ways that football can be a catalyst for greater personal development. It’s about more than just building the next generation of gridiron stars; it’s about building the next generation of great leaders — on and off the field.