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The replacements are coming! NFL Officials that is…

If you thought The Replacements was a good movie, and actually I did, then you’re in luck because we might see a similar situation unfolding in regards to the NFL officials this season. One can only hope that heroics of Shane Falco might be felt in a similar manner when it comes to the possibility of the NFL actually using replacement officials in 2012.

Things can, and possibly will get worked out before the NFL season starts. After all we are just in the beginning of June right now and training camps are about 2 months away. Given the state of the league these days though, between all the litigation, back stabbing, rule changes, bounty gate, and general animosity that many fans are feeling, who knows what might happen.

This is normally a time though when the NFL officials, who by the way as most know are not full time employees of the league, are taking part in ongoing training to be ready for the new season. Once camp starts, they also make their rounds to all the teams to help instruct the players on any new rule changes, how tightly certain certains will be called, etc.

Imagine if you will, a temporary official being asked to make a crucial pass interference call late in the game. What if James Harrison goes in for the sack but they aren’t sure whether it’s a legal hit so they just decide to not call it but then they get the riot act read to them by the league and decide to start throwing a flag on everything.

How consistent will they be from one week to the next, let alone one series to the next?

Like we said there is still plenty of time to work this out so no need to go off the deep end just yet, however this is something that definitely is worthy of keeping an eye on. After all, we won’t have Jimmy McGinty on the sidelines putting stickum on Clifford Franklin’s hands…

According to  The officials say that the NFL offered salary increases lower than those obtained in the 2006 agreement.

“They heard about the increases that team and league employees receive, far less than the increases we proposed for the game officials, even without considering the improved offer made on Sunday,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. “Do the officials get the same kind of raises in their other jobs as they did in 2006?”

Game officials — most of whom hold other jobs — were offered a seven-year deal that included increases of between 5 percent and 11 percent in wages per year. First-year officials who made an average of $78,000 in 2011 would earn more than $165,000 by the end of the new agreement. A 10-year veteran in 2011 who made $139,000 would get more than $200,000 in 2018.

Arnold also says the league intends to freeze and terminate the officials’ pension plan, which began in 1974 and has been administered by the league since.

“The league’s proposal is a massive takeaway in the overall economic package at play in the negotiations,” Arnold said. “Now, despite record revenues, the NFL wants to do away with the plan.”

Here’s the official statement on negotiations with NFL Referees Association:

“Negotiations with the NFL Referees Association on a new collective bargaining agreement remain unresolved and the previous CBA has expired. Therefore, in order to ensure that there is no disruption to NFL games this season we will proceed immediately with the hiring and training of replacement officials.

“Our goal is to maintain the highest quality of officiating for our teams, players, and fans, including proper enforcement of the playing rules and efficient management of our games.

“Another negotiating session took place Sunday under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. We appreciate the efforts of the FMCS and will continue to be available to the NFLRA and the FMCS to negotiate a fair resolution. We have great respect for our officials and in keeping with that view have made a proposal that includes substantial increases in compensation for all game officials.”

Background notes:

The NFL negotiating team is led by Jeff Pash and Ray Anderson.
The previous agreement was for six years (2006-2011).
Negotiations on a new CBA began last October.
Regional training sessions for replacement officials will begin later this month.

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