Aiello on NFLRA talks: “There is no such thing as close”

Earlier today, ESPN reported that a deal between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association is “at hand,” and that the real officials could be back to work this week.

Asked about the situation, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello quoted George Young, the late Giants G.M., with this admonition regarding negotiations:  “There is no such thing as close.”

So there’s no deal until there’s a deal.  And, as of right now, there’s no deal.

Confirming that there’s no deal is NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos, who told PFT by phone this afternoon that NFLRA president Scott Green emailed the rank-and-file from the meeting room with the explanation that a deal has not been struck.

Even if/when a deal is reached among the negotiators, it will have to be approved by at least half of the 121 officials.  As Daopoulos explained, the officials badly want to return to work, which could make them likely to accept whatever deal the NFLRA presents to them for a vote.

Still, questions remain.  Dapoulos explained that, as to the reportedly tentative agreement to maintain a 21-official developmental squad that won’t be used during a given season to “bench” the regular officials, the officials want to know how the group will be assembled, what they will be doing during the season, and (perhaps most importantly) how they’ll be paid.

And while roughly 85 to 100 of the officials engage in a weekly conference call arranged by Ed Hochuli to discuss rule changes and other officiating issues in order to remain ready to work, Daopoulos explained that, as to roughly 20 of the locked-out officials, there’s real concern regarding their ability to pass a physical.

Then there’s the question of using replacements for a Thursday night game and regular officials for the balance of the weekend.  Daopoulos said that the league likely will prefer an all-or-none approach, for reasons of competitive balance.  if, for example, the Ravens lose to the Browns on a bad call from the replacements, the Ravens would be able to legitimately complain that, if they’d been scheduled to play on Sunday, they would have had the benefit of the real officials.

Regardless, no one will have the regular officials until a deal is done.  And a deal isn’t done — and won’t be done — until it’s done.

For now, I’m done.

43 responses to “Aiello on NFLRA talks: “There is no such thing as close”

  1. If memory serves, didn’t the NFL owners hold a press conference and annouce a new CBA had been reached last summer, while the players were denying it?

    Remember the owners congratulating and thanking each other, especially the Carolina owner, afterward?

    This could be a tactic to paint the referees as the ones holding up the process.

  2. This was the old leak-me-do by the NFL: Leak that a deal is close, then the other side is under pressure to accept and make it real. They did the exact same thing to the NFLPA last July.

  3. Hmmm… This reminds me of the deals that were “close” last year with the players union. They were “close” for months. I’ll believe it when I see it. If nothing else – both sides want the public to have some positive thoughts that something is being worked on to minimize the current outrage.

  4. 20 Ref’s who will not pass the physical? Why are they Referee’s in the first place trying to catch RGIII throwing to 4.3ish Receivers.
    Is there a passing the Physical Bonus?

  5. After that last Monday Night Football, I want Ed Hochuli to hug me and tell me everything’s going to be alright.

  6. Remember the “world wide leader” the same “media” outlet that reported an end to the NHL lockout in 2004-2005 prematurley as well as being the first to jump the gun last year on the NFL lockout being over.

    As Judge Smails famously said in Caddyshack, “Well….. We’re waiting!”

  7. Your Ravens bad call situation has larger issues than just that one game. If the replacements are used in week 4 and the real refs in week 5…one could argue that the Colts and Steelers gain an advantage since they have a bye in week 4.

  8. “…that the league likely will prefer an all-or-none approach, for reasons of competitive balance…”

    This is silly, you don’t have good officials for most of the games because one game has replacements? Pure silly – with that logic, a deal MUST get done THIS week or else it will be unfair advantage to all the week 4 bye teams, since they would all have one less game with repalcement officials. Crazy.

  9. I wonder how quickly the deal would be done if the replacements walked off the job … effective immediately. As with the player replacements in 1987, this just isn’t working. And if these subs took themselves out of the equation, I have a feeling the timetable for resolving this situation would be moved up considerably.

  10. Sure, yeah right, nobody wants to seem as if they are caving at this juncture…this is such BS! If the Owners who are the NFL want to continue to ruin their product and fan base they are going about it the right way…with TV revenue and all they’ve already got their loot so do they really care???

  11. I’m sure something could be worked out while the finishing touches are being put on the deal so that you could have the regular refs for the thursday night game….or how about just moving it to oh Friday or Saturday or better yet even Sunday…

  12. The refs should NOT agree to “any deal” just because they badly get back to work. With this Monday’s fiasco, they have the momentum. If the owners let the replacement refs continue this week, and if those replacement refs sway another game, the NFL is in serious trouble.

    The refs need to stand their ground and let the owners be backed down for once in their lives…

  13. So if they don’t want to bring the real refs back until they have a full week’s schedule than that’s pretty much admitting that the repops are crap…..

  14. Nothing pleases me more than when someone at the 4-letter network screws up a scoop or something along those lines.
    I’ve disliked those clowns there since 1995. Which ironically was the last time that channel was relevant.
    I don’t get it why anyone uses them for anything sports news or even watches anything on the network or uses their website at all.

    I watch that channel for 2 reasons and 2 reasons only. MNF and if the Phillies are being broadcast on there. That’s it! Every personality on there is still striving to make it about them & their personality (oops I mean shtick) and it’s not about the sports. Good job you boobs….1992 is calling and it says you can’t go back in time.

  15. Since the owners want to make as much money as possible they might as well play the games and officiate the games. Goodell and these owners are a joke.

  16. The doctor that saved my friend’s life doesn’t get a pension. These people officiating a GAME shouldn’t either. Frankly, they should be ashamed of themselves.

  17. Dan says: Sep 26, 2012 4:24 PM

    The doctor that saved my friend’s life doesn’t get a pension. These people officiating a GAME shouldn’t either. Frankly, they should be ashamed of themselves.
    —————————–
    Cry us a river. When was the last time you saw a doctor who was destitute in old age? If a doctor wants a union pension, tell him to join a union.

  18. The deal will get done when I decide that we’ve milked the ratings enough from creating this circus.
    Who would’ve thought that we’d be enjoying such amazing publicity because of referees?
    I LOVE ESPN!!

  19. If this is the case, then why even bother with the shame of having them, it makes the refs no more accountable than they are already, which I will remind, is zero.

    “21-official developmental squad that won’t be used during a given season to “bench” the regular officials, the officials want to know how the group will be assembled, what they will be doing during the season, and (perhaps most importantly) how they’ll be paid.”

  20. If you run some #s from ESPN,(121×149,000)+[121×38,500] and divide it by the 10 billion figure you hear as a yearly amount of the NFL you get a very small% less than 0.25%

  21. Deb says:
    Sep 26, 2012 3:31 PM
    I wonder how quickly the deal would be done if the replacements walked off the job … effective immediately.

    ****************************************

    I thought about this too……but I’m guessing that the scabs are contractually obligated to show up until a settlement is reached with the regulars. I’m assuming the scrubs’ bank accounts aren’t as tidy as the regulars. Plus, who the heck wants to be sued for breech of contract and end up paying for all the humiliation that they’ve already been subject to?

  22. rajbais says:
    Sep 26, 2012 3:24 PM
    Up in heaven Al Davis is laughing at Chris Mortensen right now .
    ====================================
    No. Al Davis is laughing at Chris Mortensen from the depths of hell.

  23. @upperdecker19 …

    Never thought about that … but you’re right that the league would have. Yes, I’m sure these guys are contractually obligated until the end. Ugh.

  24. The NFLRA needs to understand they have no leverage. The league is not going to budge on salary or pensions, nor should they. The league is facing multimillion lawsuits and medical settlements, and they will hold the line.
    Let’s see how bad the refs are suffering. They get full benefits for a part time job. 15 weekends a year to make $150-160k per season. Travel first class to each game Saturday morning, all expenses paid, concerierge level hotel rooms, fly home Sunday after the game. Not bad scratch.
    The NFLRA has refused to go full time, and many refs would quit or go back to D1 college officiating if forced to go full time. The reason: they all have regular gigs as college profs, lawyers, business owners that pay them more. They want NBA money but that is full time 8 months a year, heavy road livings , and a heck of a lot more games. Not relevant.
    The folks failing are the sideline refs who are not guiding the replacements as they should. The replacements will get better each week, reducing the Position of the refs. If one were to scrutinize the reg refs game film like these guys are getting it we would see they make a lot more errors than we remember.

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