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Published On: Thu, Sep 27th, 2012

NFL reaches agreement with referees, who will return immediately

 The replacement Refs are out, only days after a controversial call decided a game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. The NFL’s regular crews will be back on the field starting Thursday night.

photo JJ Hall

After two days of marathon negotiations – and mounting frustration among coaches, players and fans – the NFL and the referees’ union announced at midnight Thursday that a tentative agreement had been reached to end a lockout that began in June.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was at the bargaining table Tuesday and Wednesday, said the regular officials would work the Browns-Ravens game at Baltimore.

“Welcome back REFS,” Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller tweeted shortly after the news broke.

The replacements worked the first three weeks of games, triggering a wave of outrage that threatened to disrupt the rest of the season.

“We are glad to be getting back on the field for this week’s games,” referees’ union president Scott Green said.

The tentative eight-year deal is the longest involving on-field officials in NFL history and was reached with the assistance of two federal mediators. It must be ratified by 51 percent of the union’s 121 members, who plan to vote Friday and Saturday in Dallas.

The agreement hinged on working out salary, pension and retirement benefits for the officials, who are part-time employees of the league. Tentatively, it calls for their salaries to increase from an average of $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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