As we posted last night, the NFL and the leagues Referee Association negotiated late into Tuesday evening. Those talks last well into the night and into the early morning of Wednesday until around 2 AM.
According to NFL.com, there was one major breakthrough.
The referees have been asking to have 21 more full-time positions available for the officials. A compromise was reached as the two sides agreed to a developmental program.
The owners have shown no room to budge and it looked like things were looking ugly in getting this problem sorted out but we now have what looks like a major step in the right direction.
There will now be developmental officials and they will be mentored by existing crews and trained more during the week. However, these referees will not be part of the union and cannot be subbed in to work games. (The way I look at it is sort of like an internship and if you do well, they will bring you in to work).
Both sides still have work to do. The major issue still remains referee pension but an NFLRA source said the officials came a little off their position Tuesday.
In the end it is a game of who will budge first. Will the owners continue to see their teams suffer and have games possibly decided for them like the Packers or will the referees budge so they can get back to work?