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"They're doing the best they can, but the best isn't really good enough for the NFL." Those words from former NFL linesman Aaron Pointer.
But now, a deal to end the chaos could be on the horizon. ESPN.com and Sports Illustrated are reporting an agreement between the NFL and the referee's union is in the final stages. And, just the suggestion that regular refs could be back on the field is welcome.
"It needs to get because it can't get any worse," football fan Kimberly Diderich said.
The lockout started in June when a contract between NFL owners and the referee's union expired. The two groups have been battling over millions of dollars worth of raises and pension payments. The league wants to freeze referee's pension plans, and instead offer them a 401K.
The refs are also upset over plans to hire more officials.
But now, both sides are reportedly making concessions.
"It's about time," Diderich said. "A lot of people are really angry with the league."
According to ESPN, the refs are prepared to accept a new agreement in the form of a bonus. And, the creation of a developmental program to train new referees.
But, football fans aren't celebrating yet. The NFL has not confirmed a deal has been made. The Executive Director of the NFL Players Association tweeted, "Having done this before, everyone needs to wait until the ink is dry."
But, waiting is hard.
"We need our real refs back," Diderich said.
If a deal is reached league sources say it would take a week to get officials back on the field.
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