It's time to welcome Ed Hochuli and the rest of the NFL officials back into your life! More importantly, it's time to say farewell to the replacement refs. A deal between the NFL and the NFLRA has been agreed upon on Wednesday evening, according to Greg Aiello of the NFL.
The ref lockout is over.
Beginning with reports by Chris Mortensen of ESPN and Judy Batista of The New York Times earlier in the day that an agreement was close, a steady drumbeat of positive dispatches emerged from negotiations that reportedly gained intensity after the officiating debacle on "Monday Night Football," when the Seahawks defeated the Packers, 14-12, by way of disputed touchdown as time expired.
Described as "a tentative contract agreement" by The Associated Press, the new 8-year deal must still be ratified by the union members on Friday. According to ProFootballTalk, the officials will vote on the deal in
With the referee lockout having come to an end, NFL teams and fans have just one question: How soon can these guys be ready to go? According to Albert Breer and Jeff Darlington of NFL.com, the officials are ready to work immediately.
NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos tweeted that experienced officials would likely be staffing "Thursday Night Football," less than 24 hours after Aiello announced the agreement. Adam Schefter of ESPN also reported that union refs would be in action on Thursday.