The replacement officials could end up getting locked out.
A day after the NFL announced that the locked-out officials won’t work the games to be played in Week One of the 2012 regular season, Commissioner Roger Goodell dropped a strong hint that the regular officials could be back in time for the games that count.
Albert Breer of NFL Netwotrk, speaking to Goodell at a joint NFL-U.S. Army press event at West Point, twice asked Goodell whether he would rule out using the locked-out officials in Week One. And, twice, Goodell refused to rule it out.
Goodell said that negotiation is needed, and NFLRA spokesman Mike Arnold separately told Breer that the gap remains small, at $6,000 per team per game. (As we explained earlier today, that still translates to a difference of $22.7 million over the seven-year term of the proposed deal.)
The bottom line is that things can still get worked out, quickly. Despite the public wagon-circling, the NFL knows that the replacement officials can’t cut the mustard. (Hell, many of them can’t even spray it in the general direction of the hot dog.) And hopefully the locked-out officials realize that have it pretty good, with a hobby that pays them on average $150,000 per year.
So let’s get it done, folks. For the good of the game that all of you supposedly love.