In what can only be described as excellent news in what has been a somewhat comical NFL season in terms of the on-the-field officials, it appears that the end is near for the replacement referees that the National Football League have been using up to this point.
It appears that according to several sources, the NFL and the National Football League Referees Association are about to sign off on an agreement, which will be multi-year in nature.
According to Tara Sullivan of the Bergen (N.J.) Record, the agreement will be eight years in length, with the question being whether the NFL can get a crew together in time for the Thursday game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.
Furthermore, Jim Daopoulos, a former NFL official and now employed by NBC Sports, says that a deal is in fact done and there will be a full crew for the Thursday night game. In addition, the referees scheduled to work the Sunday games will jet to Dallas to pick up their equipment and perhaps take a quick refresher seminar.
Then there’s a report by SI‘s Peter King, stating that Ed Hochuli, the dean of NFL officials, has been keeping the NFL officials not employed up to speed during conference calls.
According to the source who tipped King:
“That’s one of the reasons why the officials will be up to date and ready to go. Ed grabbed the bull by the horns and made sure that whenever this thing ended, the regular officials would be ready to go back to work immediately.”