Hugo Cruz is the first NFL official to lose his job in-season, due to "performance reasons."
The NFL has fired Hugo Cruz effectively immediately, following an on-field mishap in Week 6. Crus, a down judge who has worked for the league since 2015 was let go for "performance reasons," according to FootballZebras.com, a site which surveys the activities of referees in the game of football.
Cruz made an error in assessing a false start by San Diego Chargers' offensive tackle Russel Okung while his team was in the midst of a scoring drive. Okung should have been assessed a penalty on the play; the Chargers went on to win the game 38-14 -- Cruz was then kept out of action, the subsequent Week 7. Only now, we have been notified of his termination, effective immediately.
This marks the first-ever time an NFL official or linesman has been terminated in-season. Sources close to ESPN have inferred that his firing is not a disciplinary act, but a reflection of his poor performance record during his tenure. The NFL grades its lineman for every single decision they take part in. Officials leave every game with a letter grade reflecting their overall judgment. The results are then analyzed on a comparative scale. The system is empirically designed to help avoid snap employment decisions and to help the league collect "exceptional" data.