NFL referees, league reach agreement; regular refs to start work right away

Broncos head coach John Fox talks to referee during loss to Atlanta on Sept. 17, 2012. (

Broncos head coach John Fox talks to referee during loss to Atlanta on Sept. 17, 2012. (

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The NFL reached an agreement with the NFL Referees Association late Wednesday to end the referee lockout and are working on the paperwork now, according to a league source.

The league later confirmed the agreement.

A high-ranked referee told and NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington earlier that the officials are prepared to immediately begin work, noting he and many others have gotten access to all of the videos from the last three weeks of games that were distributed to the replacement officials.

The NFL said regular referees would begin work right away. A team was being assembled to work the game in Baltimore between the Ravens and Cleveland Browns Thursday night.

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Here is the joint statement from the NFL and the referees’ union:

The NFL and NFLRA are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement tonight on an eight-year collective bargaining agreement, subject to ratification by the NFLRA.

“Our officials will be back on the field starting tomorrow night,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We appreciate the commitment of the NFLRA in working through the issues to reach this important agreement.”

“Our Board of Directors has unanimously approved taking this proposed CBA to the membership for a ratification vote,” said Scott Green, president of the NFLRA. “We are glad to be getting back on the field for this week’s games.”

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