Report: NFL and NFLRA Reach Tentative Agreement to End Lockout

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Report: NFL and NFLRA Reach Tentative Agreement to End Lockout
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After all the griping about the replacement officials, the NFL and NFL Referees Association are coming to an agreement on a new labor deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter via ESPN's Chris Mortensen

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 11:05 p.m. ET by Ryan Rudnansky

Pro Football Talk reported on Wednesday that NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos said a deal had been signed between the NFL and the NFLRA.

Pro Football Talk tweeted:

Of course, six minutes later, Albert Breer of NFL Network reported that the deal had not been signed yet.

Breer tweeted:

Last but not least, Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted four minutes later that he got a text from someone in the negotiating room, claiming the report of the signing was "categorically untrue."

Schefter tweeted:

"Categorically untrue." Whatever that means. Sometimes it seems as if we are living in another dimension, folks.

--- End of Update ---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 10:32 p.m. ET by Ryan Rudnansky

As NFL Nation awaits in anticipation, Jason La Canfora of reports that a deal is "imminent" between the NFL and the NFLRA.

La Canfora tweeted on Wednesday night:

--- End of Update ---

UPDATE: Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 9:55 p.m. ET by Ryan Rudnansky

According to "a source familiar with negotiations," the NFL and the NFLRA are on the verge of a deal, via Bob Glauber of Newsday.

Glauber tweeted on Wednesday:

--- End of Update ---

UPDATE: Wednesday, September 26 at 3:20 p.m. ET by Adam Wells

As we await confirmation of a deal, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that NFL spokesman Greg Aiello has said "there is no such thing as close.” 

Florio's report also states that "NFLRA president Scott Green emailed the rank-and-file from the meeting room with the explanation that a deal has not been struck."

At most we know that the two sides are engaged in discussions. What we don't know is what it all means. We have various reports about deals in the works and nothing being official. 

Hopefully we get some clear resolution soon, otherwise we are guaranteed to be stuck with the replacements for at least one more week. 


UPDATE: Wednesday, September 26 at 1:30 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp

In the words of Lee Corso, not so fast, my friends! Peter King of Sports Illustatrated has tweeted that a deal may not be as close to being done as has been reported:

And just when I was getting excited, literally the first time I've ever been happy about anything involving officials, umpires or linesmen. Here's to hoping this is resolved soon.

---End of Update---

Don't go celebrating quite yet, as Albert Breer of the NFL Network spoke to a source who told him that there is no deal finalized at this moment. 

Before the season started, no one knew exactly what to expect from the replacement referees. On some level, everyone expected some drop in the quality of the performance because that is what usually happens when someone is asked to take on a more challenging assignment.

But after the games started, you could tell that these officials were in over their heads. They weren't used to the speed of the game, had little understanding of the NFL rules and seemed too timid to make the right calls. 

To be fair to the replacement refs, they were thrown into an unenviable situation with little time to prepare and were basically learning on the job. They came from the lower levels of college football and lingerie football. 

That said, anyone who had even the slightest knowledge of the NFL could tell that this wasn't working. 

The entire saga reached its tipping point last Monday night during the Packers vs. Seahawks contest. Since then, the entire NFL landscape has been thrown for a loop, as fans and analysts are repudiating the replacement referees for their handling of the controversial Golden Tate Hail Mary touchdown reception.

Even though referees have a thankless job, we do have a whole new appreciation for the job they do. The real referees may not always make calls that we like or agree with, but at least they know the rules and regulations of the NFL well enough to make the correct call more often than not.

The league needed to get this deal done. Even more than the replacement referees, the NFL was taking a beating from some of its own players because of the referee lockout. 

There was no reason not to get the deal done, other than stubbornness from both sides.

Now that a deal is being reached, we can put this behind us, and the NFL can get back to some semblance of normalcy. 

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