Referees, NFL try and fail to reach an agreement

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Shortly after the NFL told all 32 teams to be ready for replacement officials for Week One, reports emerged that one final negotiating session between the league and the locked out referees could result in a last-minute deal. But that deal is not going to get done.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times reports that an NFL officiating source said there were last-ditch talks between the NFL Referees Association and the league, but those talks failed. And no further talks are scheduled.

So the much-criticized replacement officials will, in fact, be on the field when the NFL’s regular season kicks off next week. And given the way negotiations have gone so far, replacement officials could be on the field for several weeks.

The replacement officials, whose experience is mostly at the small-college level, have at times appeared to be overwhelmed while working NFL preseason games. The NFL will just have to hope that they’re up to the task next weeks, because those officials will be making calls that count.

27 responses to “Referees, NFL try and fail to reach an agreement

  1. Atrocious. You’re talking 12,500 difference per tm per gm. That’s it. Just dumb that fining players and bounties are so critical that you release a letter yet the integrity of the game and the safety of players that are largely enforced by the refs are not as important. Left scratching head.

  2. Tom Coughlin, is reported to be on mega-doses of Valium, leading up to a “maintenance dose”, so he can be somewhat “calm after hearing this report.
    Jerry Jones, just ordered more wine and beer for his booth, and now Carry’s a “flask” of an unknown alcoholic beverage @ 100 proof+++++.
    Should be fun? I just took my ????????????

  3. Oh, but the league really cares about player safety…what a joke. They will agree to terms as soon as an overwhelmed replacement blows a call that costs a billionaire owner a game. Unfortunately for all of us, that is what it will take. Until then, be prepared to hate the stripes even more.

  4. Boo. This impact of this ‘failure to compromise’ will wear on most observant NFL fans RAPIDLY.

  5. I don’t know about you guys but….if my team loses cause of a bad call, bad ball placement, or bad clock management I will be pissed.

  6. so they would rather have high school and arena league refs calling their billion $ games, very smart guys.

  7. As long as they screw up equally for all teams, it will be an improvement over the usually lopsided officiating we’ve become used to.

  8. Sign the contract and pay them their raise out of the millions in fines the NFL collects from their errant players who obviously didnt need the money near as much as these average Joe referees do,they are not looking to become millionaires on their salaries like players are,the NFL must stop standing purely on the principle that they are the top dog and everyone else is their peon.

  9. This is going to make doubleheader games brutal to watch. I find it hard to believe that the first games are going to finish before the late games start.

    It isn’t just about the calls being made, it is also about how long it takes the referees to make the calls and spot the ball, etc. IMO, there are going to be some very long delays between plays.

    As it is, the commercial breaks are far too long and drag out games far longer than they used to be.

  10. not too woriied about it – ill be angry like i usually am at the refs – they really werent that good before. I am also not one to worry about the games i see taking a little longer because the new refs are still getting more efficient. I love NFL football. A few minutes wont bother me.

    The current refs have to realize that they are talented – they are trained. You can train another person to do the same as you. Do think you are professional athletes that are harder to replace.

    The longer the old refs dont agree to the NFLs terms. The faster they will completely be out of a NFL as refs.

    What a great opportunity for the new refs. Now go and earn your what? $8000 a game? High school refs get like $60-$100.

  11. The talk of replacement refs affecting player safety is a 12 ton red herring. Players and the primary people that affect player safety, as regardless of who is wearing striped shirts, it is the players that regularly choose to disregard the health of their opponents (and often themselves) by leading with the head and by shots to the head. It is the players that need to take responsibility for safety….because the league can’t really do any more than they already have to try to keep guys healthy during their playing days.

    Now….the leagues historical stance on concussions and their long disinformation campaign, that is a completely different issue….for the last few years, in most peoples eyes, the NFL has been too concerned with health/safety (even if players and coaches continue to bend/break the rules).

  12. I officiated for 28 years ~ starting with high school and ending with D-1 colleges. Word of advice to the stand-ins: make the call quickly and decisively, then stand on the call. The referee is responsible for the crew and must maintain control of the game. Huddling after every flag sends a message and its not a good one. Report the foul, step off the proper distance, and mark the ball ready for play without hesitation. The referee should instill confidence in his crew before they take the field ~ and he must exhibit confidence during the game. A “white hat” than can’t do that is in the wrong line of work. So are side judges that let coaches get in their heads. Expect to be challenged, it goes with the job but that is no excuse for not doing your job as an official and doing it confidently and correctly. Even then, lack of experience at the NFL level will result in errors. If teams want to eliminate these errors, strike a deal with regular officials and play on. Otherwise, you get what you pay for.

  13. So much greed everyplace.

    As an NFL fan I don’t like replacement refs.

    As a Raiders fan forgive me if I really don’t care after years of BS from the regular guys.

  14. Meanwhile, because of this, trial attorneys all over the country are salivating over the inevitable lawsuits that are going to occur because a replacement ref fails to blow a whistle or fails to make an on-field call for unnecessary roughness or a chop block.

    Do the regular officials make mistakes? Of course they do and many of them aren’t that good. But that’s not the point. The point is that the NFL has decided to not put the most experienced refs on the field because of a dispute that would cost much less to resolve than the future lawsuits will cost them. When, inevitably, a player gets hurt in a game managed by the replacement refs, attorneys will be able to convince juries that the NFL neglected to protect the players because they didn’t put the most experience refs on the field. They’re saving pennies but wasting dollars.

  15. I think there’s a very real likelihood that these officials will suck for a few games. But then we’ll gradually begin to see improvement. They are professional football officials, fundamentally, so they surely can’t be completely incapable. Once they become accustomed to the pace and intricacies of the game, they’ll get better.

    In the meantime, let’s all of us hope and pray they don’t screw over our own teams. Amen.

  16. I love how the NFL refuses to share the wealth! Every year they make more and more money. The new refs are garbage! The old refs aren’t anywhere close to perfect, but come on. I agree with the rookie wage scale change, but they said they would reward the vets with that money. Instead they just pocket it. Let’s reward the people who make you rich and keep the fans happy, or things could change for you quicker than you think.

  17. Week 1 is going to be one of the worst moments in the history of the NFL. These guys can’t even get the ball back to the line of scrimmage in time. Teams that try to run a no huddle offense, or teams that are in the 2:00 drill mode just before the half, and at the end of the game are going to be affected immensely.

    When Rich people bicker with Richerer people, over what really amounts to nothing in the overall scheme of their business are bound to fail.

    Yeah I said Richerer.

    Train wreck a comin’.

  18. If I understand this correctly…what I have heard…

    The money issue is very close…the NFL is offering 5-11% raises dependant on “time served”…the Ref’s are asking for 8% accross the board…the money isn’t the big hold-up. For once, greed isn’t to blame…

    The NFL wants to hire 7-10 fulltime Ref’s…that would be NFL employees…these ref’s would then grade/train/and hold accountable the rest of the officials…leading to possible suspensions/fines for repeatedly missing calls…This is the issue that is holding up the process.

    I agree with those here that have been saying “They can’t be any worse than the normal refs” or “So long as they are bad equally for ALL teams”…the locked out guys are all Giant/Steeler/Patriot fans at heart and seem to blow all the calls in favor of one team or another.

    The regulars don’t want to give the NFL the ability to hold them accountable for their mistakes.

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