NFL Reaches Agreement With Referees

September 27, 2012 1:13 PM

NFL Reaches Agreement With Referees
" NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL’s regular officiating crews are back, and Commissioner Roger Goodell has apologized to the fans who fretted about the replacements the last three weeks.

After two days of marathon negotiations – and mounting frustration across the league – the NFL and the officials’ union announced at midnight Thursday that a tentative eight-year agreement had been reached to end a lockout that began in June. The regular refs’ return couldn’t have come soon enough for many players, coaches and fans.

“Obviously when you go through something like this, it’s painful for everybody,” Goodell said on a conference call about 12 hours after the deal was struck. “Most importantly, it’s painful for fans. We’re sorry to have to put fans through that. Sometimes you have to go through something like that in the short term for the right agreement for the long term.”

The deal follows Seattle’s chaotic last-second win over Green Bay on Monday night in which the replacement officials struggled. Goodell, who was at the bargaining table Tuesday and Wednesday, said regular officials would work the Browns-Ravens game at Baltimore on Thursday night "

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