Video: NFL, referees reach an eight-year agreement

FLOWERY BRANCH — The labor impasse between the NFL and the referees is over, with both parties issuing a joint statment Wednesday.

The parties announced that they have reached an agreement on an eight-year collective bargaining agreement, subject to ratification by the NFLRA.

“Our officials will be back on the field starting tomorrow night,” NFL 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.”

The replacement officials made some bad calls in the last two Monday Night Football games.

They arguably cost the Green Bay Packers a victory when they rule that Seattle reciever Golden Tate caught a pass that appeared to be intercepted by Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings. The “touchdown” gave the Seahawks a 14-12 victory.  In the Falcons game against

080612 DALTON: - NFL replacement officials signal the call that a field goal is no good during a combined practice between the Atlanta Falcons and the Tennessee Titans at Coahulla Creek High School in Dalton on Monday, August 6, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

080612 DALTON: - NFL replacement officials signal the call that a field goal is no good during a combined practice between the Atlanta Falcons and the Tennessee Titans at Coahulla Creek High School in Dalton on Monday, August 6, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Denver, they had three calls on the field overturned and there was a six minute delay on a routine play in the first quarter.
“It’s one less thing that people can harp on during the week,” Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud said. “Once the regular refs get here, it will be great to get that out of the way.”

The bizarre call in the Packers-Seattle game pushed the negotiations along. If the deal is ratified, the regular refs will call this week’s Thursday night game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens.

The Falcons generally remained mum through the impasse. There was some concern about player safety in their locker room.

But even the Falcons were perplexed by the play at the end of the Green Bay-Seattle game.

 “It was one of those things where you could see both sides of the argument,” DeCoud said. “From the Packers side you could see that Jennings had 90 percent control of the ball. But on the other side you can see how they kind of thought it was a simultaneous catch. It just depends on whether perception is reality.”

The union was fighting for better salaries, retirement benefits and other transactional issues for part-time officials.

 The NFL contended that it offered annual pay increases.

The NFL last used replacement refs during the first week of games in 2001 before a deal was reached.

Fines against two coaches for incidents involving the replacements referees were handed out Wednesday.

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was fined $50,000 for trying to grab an official’s arm Sunday to ask for an explanation.

Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was fined  $25,000 for what the league called “abuse of officials.”  Two other coaches, Denver’s John Fox and assistant Jack Del Rio, were fined Monday for incidents involving the replacements in Denver’s loss to the Falcons.


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49 comments Add your comment


September 27th, 2012
12:50 am


September 27th, 2012
12:55 am

WOOOOO HOOOOOO! Shame it took the fiasco on Monday Night Football to Get er done. But as we all know, we as fans would still watch and would still spend our money to see the NFL no matter the quality of officiating. I believe that is a major reason it took as long as it did


September 27th, 2012
1:11 am

And Decoud, love ya, but I am glad you’re a safety and not a replay official

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September 27th, 2012
5:10 am

The NFL contended that it offered annual pay increases

Michael M.

September 27th, 2012
5:49 am

Just when I was getting use to the NFL Follys !………………….lol………………………….


September 27th, 2012
5:59 am

It will be interesting to observe the coaches and players actions toward the regular refs when a call doesn’t go their way……..will they be as dramatic and vocal toward these refs? Will they all circle around these refs in an intimidating fashion as we’ve seen? Just curious.

Michael M.

September 27th, 2012
6:28 am

I bet those Stinkin Packers wish they had of reached an agreement before that Monday Night butt whipping they took at the hands of the replacement officials……………hehehehehe

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September 27th, 2012
7:44 am

The interesting situation for me is the replay offical are the same one who have always done the replay so if the over turn doesn’t happen it’s the regular guys that have always done that, so who is really to blame for the bad calls?


September 27th, 2012
7:46 am

I think a lot of this was set ups from the NFLRA.


September 27th, 2012
7:47 am

Thank God! Now we can all go back to blaming the regular refs when they blow a call, which we know will happen sooner or later. It’s sort of like the fact that it’s ok to beat the crap out of your brother, but nobody else can. haha

$olly $ol

September 27th, 2012
7:52 am

So now when a bad call is made by the regular refs who will people blame. Just because they didn’t cater to all the coaches and players they are the bad guys, please give me a break.

ok then

September 27th, 2012
7:53 am

Yes the replacements were bad, but seems one team got to the super bowl on a missed call by the regular refs just saying

Billy Rob

September 27th, 2012
8:01 am

“Replacement Refs: Not So Bad…When You Put It In Perspective”
The proof is at:

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September 27th, 2012
8:15 am

@tardawg — replay officials COULDNT overturn the monday night Fail Mary… dual possession isn’t a reviewable aspect of that play

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September 27th, 2012
8:20 am

While I am THRILLED that the regular refs are back, someone needs to say THANK YOU to the replacement refs. I saw yesterday where a player said…..You wouldn’t want a Toyota mechanic working on your Rolls Royce……..Agreed……..But THAT doesn’t make the Toyota mechanic bad, it just means that person is not TRAINED to work on a Rolls Royce. These replacement refs were not /are not NFL refs, they were not trained to be NFL refs. YES there were problems, MAJOR problems, but without the replacement refs were would have been NO NFL football. So I say THANK YOU to the replacement refs for trying and giving it your best shot.

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dekalb doug

September 27th, 2012
8:25 am

If the regular refs are so great, why does the NFL need replay? The regular refs butcher as many calls as the replacements, but since they aren’t under a microscope, you don’t hear about it…

[...] To End Lockout, Use Of Replacement RefereesHuffington -NPR (blog) -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 2,506 news articles » VN:F [1.9.8_1114]please wait…Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes [...]

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September 27th, 2012
8:43 am

@ dekalb doug, I totally agree.


September 27th, 2012
9:09 am

glad this crap is over….maybe we can now focus on important things in life, like when will Honey BooBoos’ mom’s heart explode


September 27th, 2012
9:15 am

WOW–I’m so excited, I could just s*%) in my drawers. Big Whoop.

Taxi Smith

September 27th, 2012
9:16 am

You know, it’s kind of funny to read all of this hoopla about the “real”refs coming back. Seems to me they make about as many errors on their calls, at least based upon the Monday morning quarterbacking I read on these pages. I agree with DeKalb Doug.


September 27th, 2012
9:21 am

So, my question is, are the media going to grandstand and devote whole days of TV coverage when there are bad calls in games now? These over-payed greedy 150k a year part time stiffs, who everyone loves to forget were not that great themselves, better get back on the job and call a good game. But they won’t, it’ll be the same badly called games they always were, but something tells me that the media won’t care as much as long as their beloved union (they’ll support any union) won.


September 27th, 2012
9:23 am

Hooray Beer! Now there will never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever be another bad call by a referee in an NFL game again!

If you watched the South Park season premier last night, you get where I am cumming from.


September 27th, 2012
9:37 am

Statment? Really? I did not look any further. Might as well read a blog that has the decency to call itself a blog


September 27th, 2012
10:13 am

My, bad, it’s now going to be a bucnh of over-payed greeky TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND dollar a year part time stiffs. I tell you, every parent out there bringing your kid up to get educated, maybe go to college and pursue a professional degree and job are just way off base. Teach your kids to be NFL refs, bring them up watching replays of blown calls, then when they get old they too can go butcher games for 200k a year for roughly 16 weeks of 4 hour workdays.

old quarterback

September 27th, 2012
10:24 am

Does anyone know what the starting salary for a NFl ref is now, after the negotiations?


September 27th, 2012
10:27 am

@ Time – you are exactly right! Bad calls are a part of every sport at every level. I was at the MNF game between the Falcons and Broncos, so I know the replacements were slow and the last call in the Packers/Seahawks game was atrocious, but anyone that thinks that all the bad calls are over now that the regulars are back is just being dishonest.


September 27th, 2012
10:28 am

remember Ed Hoculi and how this sainted regular ref cost the Seahawks a possible Super Bowl a few years back?? These regular refs screw up all the time and you don’t see such a stink raised…oh and if the players felt so strong about using replacement refs, then why didn’t they walk out in protest and support of that silly ref union?? Bet that would’ve worked a lot faster getting them back…no, the players wanted their pay checks while these part-time workers had to fend for themselves…and that’s the key thing…these refs are part-timers…unlike other sports, they work at 9-5 job during the week. Amazing how our country is falling apart at the hands of a “replacement” president and all people can howl about is NFL referees??? Go figure…


September 27th, 2012
10:44 am

Mistakes are part of the game….as a GT fan, I still remember sharing the national title because a team got 5 downs to get into the endzone……………

It is what it is……


September 27th, 2012
10:46 am

Finally, coaches and players will have to take responsibility for their losses and quit using the officials as a scapegoat.


September 27th, 2012
10:47 am

And the irony of the situation……I understand that part of the hangup in negotiations had to do with allowing the NFL to bench those regular refs that had a few too many bad calls……and the union said no way. Wonder how that one ended up………….


September 27th, 2012
10:54 am

We haven’t fixed the problem! The problem is the NFL quality control on critical plays. They need to institute a better process where a top notch referee located on the sideline or at a central location reviews each call for correctness (using all video feeds) and alert the umpire within 5-10 seconds if a reversal is required. Play on the field would continue normally and only be interrupted if a reversal is made. This would eliminate the on-field delays and improve the quality. All refs are human and mistakes are made. Current video viewing technology allows them to make the right call almost 100% of the time without delaying games. They just don’t use it.

Falcon James

September 27th, 2012
10:57 am

I am with Michael M. The game was much more entertaining with the replacment refs. We gots to see blooper after bloober from these guys. Oh well, I guess we just keep laughing at the OhFur Saint!


September 27th, 2012
11:04 am

@Ralph….couldn’t have said It better myself…thanks buddy!


September 27th, 2012
11:16 am

@MD – According to Peter King, whom is a source I trust above any, says that’s exactly what it was all about. He said everyone is looking at this as if Godell is playing checkers, and he was actually playing chess. Willing to sacrifice a bit of a PR hit now, so in a few years he could have a situation where he could replace crappy refs. Of course, unions being all about selfish thuggery, can’t stand that notion. It’s why at Georgia State government offices right now there are whole departments dedicated to babysitting paid state employees who don’t do their jobs, but can’t be fired because their union thuggery has mandated that they basically have to murder someone to get fired.

200k a year (up from 150k) and not a single mention of the incredible greed being displayed. But let anyone with a R next to his name make a few buck and he’s somehow a greedy evil individual hoarding all the wealth at the expense of the poor.


September 27th, 2012
11:33 am

I’m so glad that they got this mess over with. I hate to see anyone out of work that work as hard as the NFL refs do. But it is not fair to blame the fill in refs for GB’s lost or any teams lost this season. GB had 59 minutes & 52 seconds to win that game. Seahawks had Rodgers number. Come on now 4 sacks in one quarter. GB has struggled all season. Yes bad calls don’t help losing teams. But they don’t help winning teams either. These refs had there hands full. And it had to happen to prove to the NFL just how important a job it is PERIOD !!!! I got to where I couldn’t stand to watch ESPN or any other sporting news Cuz that’s all that they where talking about. Cry babies will cry about something all the time.

Michael M.

September 27th, 2012
12:13 pm

I can’t help it but I am still laughing at the Packers…………………..I kinda hope the Caints beat em this weekend because it just helps out the Falcons on home-field advantage at playoff time…………………………………
The thing really funny about that Monday night game was when the replacement officials made the Packers come back out on the sidelines so they could watch the extra point be kicked too……………………………….hehehehe


September 27th, 2012
12:21 pm

@kevinofconyers. Actually I believe dual possesion IS reviewable as long as it happens in the endzone and not in the field of play


September 27th, 2012
1:10 pm

That photo from Monday night with one ref showing touchdown and the other signalling interception will live in infamy though.


September 27th, 2012
1:24 pm

In their reluctance to interfere with the game I noticed an absence of offensive holding calls by the replacements in the games I have watched. While this went both ways I think it hurts the game when the defensive line cannot pressure the QB and therefore makes the secondary look worse. They didn’t seem to have a problem calling defensive holding but in the two Falcons games I saw (missed Denver) there was not a single call for offensive holding. One memorable play I saw had Biermann tackled and pounced on like it was a UFC match. I will be interested in seeing if the regular refs come back and call the game more like it has been in recent years.