NFL referees and the league to which they belong have bowed to pressure and signed a deal that will see the pro’s return for this weekend’s games – with a crew likely to be back for Thursday Night Football tomorrow night. Sources quoted by ESPN claim that both sides made enough progress last night to hammer out a deal, even though the NFL owners have taken an apparent stance of “no more compromise”. It’s likely, according to one source that “a little more money” is the only remaining hurdle before the deal is signed.
The news means that New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s plan to ban replacement refs from the state won’t be required. There was still time for New York Giants spokesperson Pat Hanlon to intimate that Sweeney may have been smoking some of the wacky backy when he made the statement that criticized the league for their hypocrisy. As you can imagine the Giants took the side of their hallowed league.
“We appreciate Senator Sweeney’s interest in our game, but officiating controversies have always been part of sports.
“Our league office staff, including Commissioner Goodell, has been in negotiations with the referees union for the past week. We hope to reach an agreement as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the league and the clubs are committed to do all we can to help the current officials improve and we are confident they will do so. Our position against expanded legalized gambling has not changed.”
The league likely made its decision due to the media outcry that came with Monday’s decision and in all honesty New Jersey might not have had anything to do with it. Having a state that hosts the Super Bowl champions threaten to ban your product…well we’re just saying it will definitely have an effect.