THE REAL FINAL UPDATE (12:28 am): Last all caps bold scream of the night, for realz. NFL.com is now confirming that an agreement has been reached, and a regular crew will work Thursday’s Browns-Ravens game.
FINAL UPDATE THAT’S ALSO THE BEST EVER (10:47 pm): Legally, we’re obligated to exercise caution until a deal is finally signed. Well, now it seems that ink has met some expensive paper, as ProFootballTalk is reporting that an agreement has indeed been signed. We’ll never forget you, replacement incompetence. Now please, report to Foot Locker for the midnight shelf stocking.
BEST UPDATE EVER (10:08 pm): Pop the champagne bottles, start streaking, and stay the hell out of Ed Hochuli’s way. The lockout isn’t officially over yet, because we can only have nice things once important men somewhere sign a bunch of important papers. But that’s exactly what’s about to happen, according to Tony Softli, who reports that the NFLRA will sign the league’s proposal, while Jason La Canfora calls an agreement “imminent“.
After going though the pain of a certain other labor impasse that threatened an NFL season, we’re all aware that nothing is official until it’s officially official. However, this time it’s sounding like a deal truly is in place, and when it’s finally signed both La Canfora and Softli are reporting that a regular crew will work tomorrow night’s game. This all means we can now watch football games that are officiated by referees who can properly count timeouts, and therefore we’ll never complain about a blown call again.
Say, would you like to relive a day of confusion filled with the raising and smashing of hope? You’re a little twisted, but who am I to deny that entertainment. Scroll down, friend…
Update III (1:15 pm):
Peter King is refuting earlier reports that indicated a tentative agreement has been struck.
I’m hearing NFLRA negotiator Scott Green has notified officials that a deal is not imminent. Stay tuned, obviously.
— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) September 26, 2012
Stay hydrated, my friends.
Update II (12:51 pm):
Deal between the NFL, locked-out referees “could be this week” but that isn’t yet a certainty, a person familiar with the talks said.
— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) September 26, 2012
It’s going to be one of those days, isn’t it.
Update (12:45 pm): CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman is reporting a tentative deal has been struck between the two sides that would see officials get back on the field for week 4 – starting on Sunday. Freeman also reports the NFL wasn’t willing to meet the referees half way in terms of the retirement benefits issue.
The fallout from this week’s officiating shit show was the final straw for Goodell & Co.
As @mortreport is reporting, an agreement between NFL and NFLRA is at hand and both sides will work to have officials working this weekend.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 26, 2012
Substantial progress was made during meetings that ran late into Tuesday night, with the possibility of the locked out referees returning to action as soon as this week according to ESPN. At this time there is no indication the league has capitulated on the pension issues that plagued negotiations.