The NFL and the NFLRA have just reached a deal that should keep replacement refs off the field for the next eight years.
According to Sports Illustrated, the NFL Referees Association approved an eight-year contract with an overwhelming 112-5 vote. The regular refs were on the field for Thursday night’s game but today’s contract officially ends the lockout.
Scott Green, president of the NFLRA, said:
“We’re going to talk football now. We’re going to stop talking about CBAs and lockouts and now we’re going to talk about rules and video and getting ourselves ready to work football games.”
The refs were given a standing ovation before Thursday night’s game but Green said that he’s looking forward to becoming anonymous once again.
“The last Super Bowl that I worked, when we got in the locker room, I said, `You know, the best thing about this game, nobody will remember who refereed this game.’ That’s how we like to work.”
According to NFL.com, the new contract will see ref salaries increase from an average of $149,000 during 2011 to $205,000 by 2019. The NFL is also expected to hire several officials to work year round. The league will also be able to hire additional refs for training. Those refs will also be able to be called in as substitutes for existing refs.
Are you happy that the NFL referee’s lockout is over?