After three grueling weeks of replacement official football, the NFL is back on track as they have come to terms with the regular officials.
The deal was agreed upon only hours after the Monday night game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks in which the officials clearly made the wrong call on the last play of the game resulting in a game winning touchdown for Seattle. Luckily for the rest of the teams in the NFL, the deal was put together in time to have all the regular officials back on the field for the week four games.
In the end, both the NFL and the NFLRA (National Football League Referees Association) had to compromise in order to get this deal in place. The officials will see an increase of $24,000 this season and by the end of their new eight year contract in 2019, officials will have a $56,000 raise in salary. On the other hand, the NFL is now able to make some of these part-time officials full-time employees which is not optimal for the officials who are teachers, judges and much more in the off-season.
However, the pension plan that these officials desired so badly will remain in place for the next five years, but will change into a 401k account following that. They also won the battle to add 21 new officials to the NFLRA. Instead of increasing the already large 121 employee staff, these 21 additional referees will be put into a developmental program which doesn’t qualify them to be an actual official. Rather, they will work along side the actual referees learning and improving until deemed ready to be added to the NFLRA, going against the wish of the NFL to use them as substitutes for sick, injured or below average officials.
So after all of the controversy and shenanigans of the first three weeks of the NFL season, it seems as if the NFL was simply too greedy and selfish. The only part of this deal that the NFL really won was the fact that they are now able to hire full-time officials.
It raises the question, why wait three weeks to make this deal? The answer is simple. In this multi-billionaire dollar business, the NFL was trying to earn as much profit as it could. Even if it meant that players would be injured or the integrity of the game would be compromised.