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Report: NFL Owners and NFLRA Strike A Deal, Real Refs May Return Sunday

Well, it looks like the fiasco on Monday night has finally prompted the owners to realize that scabs really aren't the way to go when it comes to officiating a professional football games.

Per ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the NFL owners and the NFL Referees Association (NFLRA) have stuck a deal. This new deal should lift the owner-imposed lockout on the referees, allowing them to possibly officate games as early as this Sunday.

NFL Network's Albert Breer reported earlier today that the NFL and NFLRA had agreed on creating a developmental program as a compromise to the NFL's demand for the addition of 21 officials to the current contingent of 121 NFLRA members.

However, the sticking point remained the pensions. NFLRA members want to keep them. NFL owners want them to switch over to 401Ks. Mortensen's report suggests a compromise was reached on this issue.

No matter what the compromise was, the perception will be that the disastrous officiating by the replacement referees during Week Three prompted the owners to give in. I mean, when the President of the United States is weighing in and telling the owners to get a deal done, that's some pretty serious pressure.

For us fans, tossing out the scab refs and bringing back the professional, unionized ones will help return the game back to respectability. Once that is done, we can pretend this nasty little episode ever happened.

Well, maybe not Packers fans. They'll probably never get over it.