NFL confirms deal with NFLRA

Getty Images

The NFL and the NFLRA are in simultaneous possession of a new labor deal.

The league and the officials’ union have announced that a new collective bargaining agreement has been reached, and that the regular officials will return for Thursday night’s game between the Browns and the Ravens.

It’s an eight-year deal that still must be ratified by the 121 members of the NFLRA.  As NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos told PFT last night, the vote will be taken on Friday in Dallas.

It’s an eight-year deal, which means that the NFL won’t have to deal with this issue again until 2020.

“The long-term future of our game requires that we seek improvement in every area, including officiating,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “This agreement supports long-term reforms that will make officiating better. The teams, players and fans want and deserve both consistency and quality in officiating.

“We look forward to having the finest officials in sports back on the field, and I want to give a special thanks to NFL fans for their passion. Now it’s time to put the focus back on the teams and players where it belongs.”

As Daopoulos learned, the current pension system remains in place through 2016.  Then, the system switches to a defined contribution plan, with the league contributing on average more than $18,000 per official per year.  That number increases to more than $23,000 on average in 2019.

The average pay will increase to $173,000 in 2013.  By 2019, the average pay per official will by $205,000.

As of 2013, the league will have the option of hiring some officials on a full-time basis.  The league currently has the option to hire additional officials for training and development purposes.  The league also has to power to “assign those additional officials to work NFL games,” which implies that the NFL eventually secured the “bench” that it so badly wanted.

Based on what we’ve heard from Daopoulos and the language of the league’s release, it appears that the NFL agreed to assume the financial burden of the pool of extra officials — and that if the extra officials are used during games, any regular officials who are displaced will still be paid.

While the league’s statement says plenty, questions remain regarding certain details.  We’ll have more on this one as Thursday unfolds.

58 responses to “NFL confirms deal with NFLRA

  1. I love all the (no deal is imminent) from both sides, then all of a sudden a deal is done.

    Why can’t you all just tell the truth.

  2. This does not surprise me in the slightest. The NFL realized what happened Monday night could have had damaging effects if it had continued. Even if that was not the case, they may have been rushed into doing a deal anyway, and not because of what Peter King said on the TODAY show Thursday morning about not being able to send a crew to Green Bay on Sunday (even if that was really the case):

    There was a rumor that was flying around on Wednesday morning that the State of New Jersey was not going to allow the NFL to stage games in the state without the real refs. If that had been proven true, it would have had the NFL scrambling to move the 49ers-Jets game from Met Life Stadium Sunday afternoon most likely in my view to a Monday night game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia (closest stadium to Met Life Stadium that Jets fans could get to). If that was true, it likely was the reason we saw sudden movement since otherwise it would have cost FOX their main early game on Sunday, with ESPN likely winding up with a doubleheader of 49ers-Jets in most likely Philadelphia at 6:30 (airing on FOX stations in New York and the Bay Area with any ESPN coverage in those markets blacked out) and Bears-Cowboys pushed back to 9:45 PM ET to accommodate an additional Monday night game. If that were proven true, once the NFL realized this, it forced a deal to get done quickly.

  3. Looks like the league got what it ultimately wanted. Extra pool of refs if some aren’t performing up to snuff, and 401k retirement plans are much more palletable than an expensive pension plan.

  4. I guess Tom Brady, Payton Manning, Drew Brees, Big Ben, and Aaron Rogers all having losing records didn’t help the NFL negotiations. Someone forgot to tell the scabs the NFC West is not supposed to be the best division in football. It cost them their jobs. Now we will go back to only defensive guys complaining and jumping around about the calls. Heaven forbid a call go against the Pats and Pack, they had no idea what to do with it, it had been so long since it happened to them.

  5. Translation:

    Yes, you all told us catastrophe would happen. Yes, we knew catastrophe would happen.

    But once catastrophe happened we took swift action.

    I’m glad you’re in the football business and not the national security business.

  6. This has to be the most misunderstood labor negotiation given the comments:
    1. Roger G works for and does what his bosses want.
    2. This wasn’t about money, it was about accountability.
    3. When the regular refs get back the debate will begin again about fulltime refs.

    The Monday night debacle could easily have occurred with the regular refs. It combines two horrible rules, simultaneous catch with the process of making a catch through to the ground.
    Please change simultaneous catch rule to be an incomplete pass, in other words a half catch for each equals no catch. Also please simplify the judgement rules so the players can just play without the refs making these judgments at high speed.

  7. It looks like the officials gave up most of their ridiculous demands and struck a deal, everyone wants to blame Goodell, its a shame most of the fans had no clue who really was the “bad guy” in the lockout.

  8. Finally !!! Now we can bring back the real Paid off REF’s, so the bookies can get there point spreads back on track.

    Correct me if i’m wrong but the call in the Green Bay game, wasn’t that final call made by the booth review guys who are the regular NFL ref’s.

    The best thing about this strike being over is that now when we swear and cus at the TV on sunday, we’ll recognize the Ref’s we swearing at.

  9. DarthVader89: Are you blind?

    “and that the regular officials will return for Thursday night’s game between the Browns and the Ravens.”

    It looks like the league got what it wanted all along. The league never really gave a crap about the money, it was all about accountability. They got that with the bench and the ability to replace officials at their own will. Good on them. Looks like the NFLRA swallowed more pride than the NFL did.

  10. Now everyone can make a huge deal out of the first blown call by the normal refs, this whole lock out was bad for the league and refs, cause the normal refs are now under the microscope and will be called out on every bad call…

    Although, one good thing did come out of this… One more LOSS for the packers 🙂 … SKOL!!!

  11. If I remember correctly… that’s when the NFLPA deal expires too. That would be something if the both became lockouts at the same time.

  12. I say either Hoculi or Carey’s crew should call the Thursday nighter. People need to see that refinement and professionalism restored.

  13. First of all (YIPPY ) the keystone refs are gone!! YIPPY!!!! YIPPY !!!! They should have never been there in the first place. One union crossed another. Players stating I”m not a cheater, kind of puts you in mind of the speech I AM NOT A CROOK. We all know how that one turned out, now even a Vegas casino is offering a refund what is this world coming to ????

  14. Part-time work in a span of 5 months a year with an average salary of $167,000/y and still complaining? It only happens in America!

    I wonder if players and media from now on will stop complaining about officiating? As I recall, they did plenty in the past.

  15. Better late than never? Not for the Packers. But at least the rest of the season the players can focus on playing and not freakish calls…as often.

  16. What happens to the replacement officials ? Does anybody care that they are discarded like chicken bones ? Goodell should have thanked them


  17. Packers shouldn’t lose the rest of the season because they have lost their excuse for any future loss. It won’t matter when Rodgers gets sacked 8 times. It won’t matter when Rodgers can’t throw even 1 touchdown pass. It won’t matter when they can’t score more than 12 points in a game. It won’t matter when they don’t have a back that can rush for a 100 yards. Excuses are over Packers. #crybabies

  18. Good now we can get back to everyone talking about how the regular officials suck. Under the circumstances these guys weren’t horrible I mean everyone nitpicked every call they made as if regular officials never made mistakes. I mean it must have been replacement refs officiating the raiders game where the tuck rule came from. I know it was replacements who got the coun toss wrong when in the lions game they obviously called heads it landed on heads an they gave the choice to the other team. Must have been replacements who gave a touchdown to vincent testaverde against Seattle when he was clearly a yard and a half short and cost Seattle a touchdown. I have never heard a giant fan complain about all the blown calls in the regular season green bay giants game last year those must have been replacement refs. Point is nobody will ever be happy and all this crying has taken away my ability to enjoy what is turning out to be a great nfl season so far. Now I hope everyone shuts the f up but they will now cry about how bad the regular refs are

  19. At least now when there’s a bad call (and there will be) we won’t have to listen to analysts say “You can’t really blame these guys, they’re doing their best.”

  20. Jerry and the other 30 greedy owners where fine with the replacements. 200,000+ charitable owners where not. Glad it’s settled.

  21. The NFL would have been better off giving the NCAA Div I refs the NFL reffing gig (permanently). Luckily, noone got to see how good they could be due to the NFLRA blocking them from even applying.

  22. I wonder if all the TV guys will continue to review every play and point out each and every mistake made by the refs now?

  23. 205k for a part time job? with a 401k retirement package? how exactly do you become an NFL ref? seems like the biggest farce of a job in existence.

  24. youngs79 says: Sep 27, 2012 8:16 AM

    Packers shouldn’t lose the rest of the season because they have lost their excuse for any future loss. It won’t matter when Rodgers gets sacked 8 times. It won’t matter when Rodgers can’t throw even 1 touchdown pass. It won’t matter when they can’t score more than 12 points in a game. It won’t matter when they don’t have a back that can rush for a 100 yards. Excuses are over Packers. #crybabies


    Last I checked 12 points was more than 7. That’s usually what matters, son.

  25. Fans can be so dumb sometimes. When will you learn that companies and corporations don’t pay taxes and salaries, the customers do. The increase in referee pay will be passed on from the NFL owners to the NFL Fans. You think paying part time refs $200,000 per year plus almost $30,000 of benefits, and a bunch of new D-League Refs will make the ticket costs any cheaper when you go to your favorite teams game?

    This is a short term victory but a long term disaster. Unions must be stopped. Wherever unions are, the prices go up. Simple facts. If the union had simply disbanded like they were close to doing, the refs would have all come back by now. The owners were all holding out for that end.

    That Green Bay/ Seattle game will live in infamy for years to come for more than 1 reason.

  26. What isn’t known is that the NFLRA had a pool of money as incentive for the replacements to blow as many calls as possible in order to force the NFL back to the negotiating table. Hey, if it worked for the Saints….

  27. The only surprise in this happening is that it took this long after the Seattle / Green Bay debacle for it TO happen. After the PR hit the league knew it was about to take, I bet the phone was ringing at the officials’ union office within minutes after that game. Nothing moves negotiations along quite like a disaster.

  28. If the Packers miss the playoffs by one game this year, they can be consoled by the fact that their getting screwed at a chance to go to the Super Bowl served the greater good of settling the referee lockout.

  29. Great Caesar’s Ghost says:Sep 27, 2012 9:10 AM…

    My point was, if they would have played better in the first 59 minutes, it wouldn’t have come down to 1 play as time runs out.

  30. Thank god – I’m really glad they’re back – not because they are better refs, but because I am sick and tired of listening to all of the media heads bitching and moaning about it all day long!

  31. Awesome … now the league can start shifting to full-time refs, can start phasing out refs who are too out of shape to keep up with the action, and can start benching refs who repeatedly blow calls. Yes, the regular officials make mistakes, too … and have been making more and more of them over the past decade. Now the NFL is finally going to start doing something to improve the overall, long-term quality of officiating. I’m thrilled we’re getting back the regular refs. But I’m more thrilled the league is going to improve the integrity of the product going forward.

  32. It would not have bothered me if the officials didn’t return until next season. What I am happy to hear is that the Commissioner was able to insert a “bench” of officials as well as the ability to make full-time hires.

    Thus begins the process of weeding out the weakest officials to be replaced by the best and brightest who will be given the opportunity to break into the professional ranks. I would imagine that there are literally dozens of extremely qualified candidates in the NCAA Division I ranks who would love to make $200K per year along with extremely generous benefits.

    Within a handful of years, the excellence level of NFL officiating will be where it should have been all along.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.