NFLRA negotiator: NFL predetermined lockout for first month

AP

With the league digging in its heels about the (lesser) quality of replacement officials, the regular refs are bracing for a long standoff.

Michael Arnold, the lead negotiator for the NFL Referees Association, said the league “predetermined” a lockout strategy.

“The league has apparently predetermined that they’re going to keep us locked out until the third or fourth week of the regular season,” Arnold told Bob Glauber of Newsday. “Their strategy has always been lockout. We feel they’ve had a strategy from the beginning to lock us out.”

The league has made clear it expects replacement refs to work the regular season opener. But they’re apparently bracing for a longer term.

Arnold said there had been no negotiations since July 27, but his group isn’t ready to buckle.

“They are strong and very united,” he said. “I’ve been with this group for 18 years, and they are more united and stronger in their position than I’ve ever seen them.”

League spokesman Greg Aiello said the NFL was “available to meet with the NFLRA at any time to negotiate a new contract.”

Arnold’s not necessarily buying that.

“They told us [last month] that if this thing was going to settle, it was going to be on their terms and they were not going to make any additional offers,” he said.

Arnold would not, however, comment on the quality of the replacements, even though he did.

“There are a lot of knowledgeable football people who have commented on [them],” he said. “We think their performance is self-explanatory.”

As is the stand-off, which will continue until somebody puts pressure on the two sides to get something done.

10 responses to “NFLRA negotiator: NFL predetermined lockout for first month

  1. The NFL needs to remember one thing. This isn’t like dealing with the players who have little or no other sources of income. The refs have regular jobs. They don’t have to give in to pressure from the league.

  2. Hmmmmmm……players are a union……maybe they should show a little support for the officials union and boycott until the lockout is settled!

  3. The coaches and owners aren’t complaining that much now.
    Wait till the real games start and coaches perceive the refs decisions are affecting the outcome of the game.
    It’s not going to be pretty. For anyone. Including the fans.

  4. NFLRA turned down an offer from the League for a 100% raise over 5 years, making 1st year officials salaries top $100,000, and veteran officials salaries top $200,000. Plus more for post-season.

    They aren’t the stars, and their presence is not vital to the game (as we can see from games being played). The NFL’s offer was more than fair, for a bunch of people who work 3 days a week, for half a year.

    Yes, owners and players make more money. They also are what the NFL’s existence hinges on. Not the refs.

  5. the officials will have to cave, if the league takes their stand they WONT lose. It’s like saying my daughter can’t cook as well as my wife, but after a couple years of practice she may be better.

  6. right now the biggest blunder that people are complaining about is number recognition. well up until now an official didn’t need a number at the place they were officiating the call was off-sides defense or false start offense. when they realize this is important to the powers that be, they’ll get it right. I would bet they get about the same number of calls wrong as the original ref’s

  7. It’s all about the haves and have-nots. The Kings, their kingdom, and the serfs. It’s time for RobbinHood to show up. I and many of my friends will not watch an NFL game until the serfs are compensated appropriately.

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