It now seems that the NFL owners lockout of their referees is, indeed, ending. Per NBC Sports' Jim Daopoulos, who was once a long-time official and later a supervisor of officials, the NFL and the NFL Referee Association have agreed to a new deal.
Here's PFT's assessment of the news:
A crew is being assembled to work Thursday night’s game between the Browns and Ravens. Then, on Friday, the officials will travel to Dallas to retrieve their equipment and receive their game assignments for Sunday and Monday, with the same crews working together as last year.
Details are still not clear, but Daopoulos says that the much-debated pension issue was resolved with the current defined-benefit plan remaining in place for five years before switching to a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan.
On face value, it looks like the owners caved. They reportedly wanted to do away with pensions all together.
Tomorrow night's Thursday night game on NFL Network will have regular officials working.
Thus, we say goodbye to the scab refs who provided us with so much entertainment/heartache over the last month or so. It was fun guys (and gal).