HOUSTON – KHOU 11 Sports has learned that the NFL and its referees have come to terms on an 8-year contract, ending the lock-out which kept officials on the sidelines through the pre-season and the first three weeks of the regular season.
Veteran referee Walt Anderson tells KHOU 11 Sports reporter Matt Musil that officials have been told they will return to NFL games this week, starting with the Thursday night game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens.
The referees working the Thursday night game will do so as part of a “handshake” agreement before all 121 officials meet in Dallas on Friday to ratify the new agreement.
The biggest point of contention in the negotiations, especially on the official’s side had to do with their pension plans. According to sources, the pension plan will stay the same for the next five years and then converts into a 401K plan after that point.
The agreement comes just two days after a controversial play ended the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. Replacement referees ruled a final Seattle “Hail Mary” play a touchdown when video replay shows the ball was intercepted by a Packers defender.