The wait is finally over.
After a lot of back and forth talks and two days of hard negotiations following the Monday Night Football controversy, the NFL Referees Association and NFL have come to an agreement and have a deal in place to end the lockout. The regular NFL refs will return to action as soon as tonight when the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns face off on Thursday Night Football.
A vote will take place in Dallas, Texas on Friday by the 121 members of the NFLRA to officially ratify the deal. It is an eight-year deal. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed the deal in a statement.
“The long-term future of our game requires that we seek improvement in every area, including officiating,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “This agreement supports long-term reforms that will make officiating better. The teams, players and fans want and deserve both consistency and quality in officiating.
“We look forward to having the finest officials in sports back on the field, and I want to give a special thanks to NFL fans for their passion. Now it’s time to put the focus back on the teams and players where it belongs.”
Both sides had compromised on key issues of the lockout but the important thing in the eyes of many NFL lovers is that the regular refs are back on the field and the game should avoid anymore potential debacles.
It was very important for the NFL and NFLRA to get the deal done in time for this week so that it would keep the number of games reffed with the regular refs and replacement refs equal for all teams. Now that the lockout is finally over, let’s get back to some football.