ESPN has reported that a deal has finally been made between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association. The NFL officials have been on strike since June, regarding mainly retirement benefits. This has caused the past three weeks of the season to have been officiated by replacement referees. The quality and experience of these referees has been criticized.There are no Division 1 college referees. Many have been high school or junior college refs. The result has been missed call after missed call, and further embarrassment. One official told another player to play well, because he was on his fantasy football team. Another official was publicly promoting a team, he was assigned to officiate, but later removed of that duty. After a wild weekend of chaos, the tipping point came on Monday night in which a highly controversial catch gave the Seattle Seahawks the victory. Now it appears the genuine officials will begin as soon as tomorrow.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith
Photo Credit: detnews.com
The NFL is struggling to find a compatible new collective bargaining agreement. It’s the usual showdown between the player’s union (NFLPA) and the owners. Before football can be played, a new CBA must be reached. The former one, which was supposed to expire a few days ago, has been extended seven more days. This allows one more week of labor discussion. Perhaps you may be wondering what’s at stake. Here are some of the main issues that must be resolved:
How to distribute $9 Billion in revenue
An 18-game season, instead of the current 16 games.
Rookie salary wage
Players’ retirement benefits
Formal meetings between the NFLPA and the owners will resume on Monday. If an agreement is not reached, a lockout will follow. This will mean that most football-related events (except for the NFL Draft) will cease for the time being.