The NFL and the NFL Referees Association have reached an agreement regarding backup crews, an NFLRA source told NFL.com Wednesday, a significant step toward bringing regular referees back on the field.
The owners, who previously haven’t shown any willingness to give on the referees’ benefits issues that led to the lockout, have become more involved in the talks, a source told NFL.com.
The 21 backup officials won’t become members of the NFLRA, but will enter a developmental program to be trained to work NFL games. They will work with NFL crews throughout the week but won’t work games and won’t be eligible to be subbed out.
Talks extended into the early morning hours on Wednesday, and are expected to continue.