NFL, Referees Agree to Eight-Year Deal; Packers-Seahawks Outcome was Tipping Point
By: The Football Girl | Posted: September 27, 2012
And just like that the replacement ref era is over. Last night the NFL announced it had reached a new 8-year agreement with the NFLRA (NFL Referee Association), and that regular refs would begin working tonight. Cleveland faces Baltimore on Thursday Night football.
From the joint statement by the NFL and NFLRA:
“The NFL and NFLRA are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement tonight on an eight-year collective bargaining agreement, subject to ratification by the NFLRA.
"Our officials will be back on the field starting tomorrow night," Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "We appreciate the commitment of the NFLRA in working through the issues to reach this important agreement."
"Our Board of Directors has unanimously approved taking this proposed CBA to the membership for a ratification vote," said Scott Green, president of the NFLRA. "We are glad to be getting back on the field for this week's games."
It turns out the replacement refs wrong, outcome-altering call of Golden Tate’s “touchdown” really accelerated the deal. CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman spoke to one NFL owner.
"That game reshaped everything," said the owner, who asked not to be identified. "I can't remember the last time our league was a laughingstock nationally. It shook me. I think it shook a lot of people."
Here are details on the new deal:
Average referee salaries go from $149,000 in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 in 2019. The pension plan will stay intact though 2016, and then be frozen. A 401K will replace it with partial matches from the NFL.
The league also has to right to hire full-time officials beginning in 2013, as well as retain additional officials for training purposes.
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