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nfl

NFL Strikes Deal With Referees

Forty-eight hours after replacement referees blew a decisive game-ending call in spectacularly dumbfounding fashion on Monday Night Football, the NFL and NFL Referees Association have agreed to a tentative deal that may bring the real guys back to the field for Thursday's game between the Ravens and Browns. The Associated Press has confirmed the agreement that will become final once the referee's union 121 members ratify. The sides haven't disclosed the terms of the deal yet, but former official Jim Daopoulous told ProFootballTalk that they resolved the pension hangup by agreeing to keep the existing defined-benefit plan in place for five years before switching to a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan. Sources for ESPN and PFT said that a regular crew is being assembled to officiate Thursday's game. Get Ed Hochuli, who helped train regular referees to keep them sharp during the lockout, on the horn. It's about time his biceps (and competence) appear on television again.

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