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Report: Seahawks-Cardinals field judge was paid by team when calling Seahawks practices

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll speaks with an official of unknown origin. (AP)

SEATTLE — Replacement field judge Jeff Sardorus, a former Pac-12 official who was part of the crew for the Week 1 game between the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals, had officiated Seahawks practices each of the last three seasons (though not 2012) despite the fact that it's a direct violation of the NFL's supposed rules regarding conflict of interest, according to Albert Breer of NFL.com

Breer reported that the NFL's internal memo to the replacement officials indicated that "effective immediately, officials will not work NFL team scrimmages during the week."

A Seahawks spokesperson told Shutdown Corner that the team had no comment at this time. The NFL has also declined comment. A Seahawks spokesperson told Breer that Sardorus' one-time employment with the team was "plausible."

If this is the case, it basically means that, just as in the case of Brian Stropolo, the side judge bumped from the Saints-Panthers game on Sunday due to his Facebook-touted love of the Saints, the NFL is doing a rotten job of vetting its replacement officials.

[Week 2 fantasy standouts: Rookie RB Trent Richardson arrives]

Generally speaking, when the NFL has actual officials and a policy in place to insure that there's no conflict of interest, officials are told to avoid in-season practices, because the teams pay those officials. NFL officials are allowed to work training camp practices, when they're paid by the league.

For the record, the official who botched the injury timeout situation in the Seahawks-Cardinals game, giving Seattle an extra timeout with less than a minute left, was referee Bruce Hermansen.

"It was my error," Hermansen said after the game. "We gave them [Seattle] additional timeout because of the incomplete pass stopping the clock before the injury occurred. When in effect, the clock has no bearing on the play at all, whether it's stopped or running, we should not have given them the additional timeout."

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