NFL Officials Unlikely to Start New Season
Negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association seem to have ground to a halt. It seems that there is no way that the conflict will be resolved before the start of the season this week.
It has been reported that Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, and Jeff Triplette, the NFLRA negotiator, reached a deal last week which would give the officials an extra $1 million per year. However, after the deal was reached NFLRA President Scott Green claimed that Triplette had no authority to negotiate a deal and the talks were ended.
Furthermore, it has been reported that the negotiations didn’t address an increase in the pension plan for all NFL officials, an issue which has caused a lot of contention.
According to a memo from NFL VP of Football Operations, Ray Anderson, the NFLRA wishes to both “retain the current defined benefit pension plan for the current staff for at least another 5-6 years, and to increase the amount of the defined benefit.” The memo went on to say that the NFL has offered to freeze the defined benefit plan and replace it with a 401(k) arrangement.
While there does seem to be some progress, it seems highly likely that replacement officials will be starting this season.