Nearly 12 hours after a report surfaced that a settlement of the labor dispute between the NFL and its officials is “at hand,” no one’s hand is holding a pen that would be used to sign a deal.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports, citing an unnamed source, that it appears a deal will be done tonight. Another source said it “looks promising” that a deal will be struck tonight.
The challenge will be to get a crew of regular officials to Baltimore for Thursday night’s game between the Browns and Ravens. As NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos told PFT earlier today, issues of competitive balance arise if a replacement crew is used for one game, and if the regular officials are used for the remainder of Week Four.
So stay tuned. The real officials could be back soon. And we’ll all spend the rest of the season scrutinizing them more closely than ever before, thanks to this fiasco.