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Report: NFL, Referees Association Agree On Backup Officials

NFLRA And NFL Still In Dispute Over Pension Plan
(credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The NFL and its referees association reportedly negotiated through late Tuesday.

While the two sides are far apart on many key issues, they were able to set up an agreement on the issue of backup officials, according to Albert Breer of NFL.com.

These officials are set to work with the replacement crews during the week, but will not be NFLRA members and won’t be eligible to work games, Breer reported.

As for the standard NFL referees who are locked out, they’re still fighting over their right to keep a defined-benefit pension plan. The NFL wants to eliminate that plan and switch the NFLRA over to a 401(k).

“When you take a group of officials who have a collective experience of 1,500 years off the field and you replace them with a group of replacements who don’t have that experience, our players know that the workplace today is less safe than it was with the real officials,” NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said on “CBS This Morning.”

Players, coaches and fans have grown increasingly frustrated at the of performance the replacement refs.  A number of high-profile blown calls have triggered fan protests outside stadiums, players venting their anger publicly and coaches berating officials.

Will the NFL and NFLRA come to a settlement to allow the standard refs to come back before the end of the 2012 NFL season?  Let us know…