NFL Ref Lockout: NFL, NFLRA Come to Terms on 8-Year Deal

Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The NFL and NFLRA have come to terms on a deal that will hopefully make a lot of people very happy.

Late last night the NFL and NFLRA struck a tentative deal that is pending ratification.

And lo, there was much rejoicing.

After a public relations nightmare of a game on Monday night, the NFL and the NFL Referee Association were able to get back to the table and hammer home a tentative agreement that will put actual, live NFL referees with actual, NFL referee experience on the field for tonight's Browns/Ravens game.

The official's deal is not officially official, pending a ratification vote by the union's 121 members. This vote will take place Friday and Saturday, and hinges on acceptance by 51% of the union. This is largely expected to be a formality.

Per NFL.com, these are some of the terms of the agreement:

  • 8-year deal
  • Current defined pension plan will remain in place for current official through 2016, or until 20 years service. It will be then frozen.
  • Defined contribution plan for all new hires and then for all official in 2017.
  • Increase from $149,000/yr average in 2011 to nearly $205,000 average by 2019
  • Beginning next year, NFL will have option of hiring a number of full-time officials
  • NFL will have option to retain additional officials for training and development, and can assign them to work games.

All in all, it's a pretty big win for both sides. The NFL can have the integrity of it's game back, and the officials get back to work with a pretty decent compensation package.

Most importantly, it's a win for fans, because they'll get back to seeing what they've always seen, and not the absolute clusterbumble of calls that have occurred over the first three weeks.

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