NFL Replacement Officials Era Now Over
The NFL replacement referee era appears to be over.
Profootballtalk.com is reporting that the league and the and the NFLRA have agreed to terms on 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 tonight’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, but that vote is expected to take place tomorrow in Dallas, which means all of the games on Sunday should have the real refs patrolling the action.
“The long-term future of our game requires that we seek improvement in every area, including officiating,” Commissioner Roger Goodell told the Associated Press. “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.”
PFT reports that 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.