After talks resumed for a third day between the NFL Referees Association and the league, there still is no new labor deal between the two. The NFLRA was locked out in early June with replacement officials taking the field in their place.
“We are disappointed because it means that our members will not be back on the field for Week 1 of the regular season due to the NFL’s continuing lockout,” said Mike Arnold, the lead negotiator for the referees. “We remain willing to negotiate with the NFL in order to reach a fair agreement. However, no additional meetings are scheduled at this time.”
The NFL made a statement Wednesday announcing that the replacement officials will be dressed and on the field for the season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and Superbowl champs New York Giants.
Ray Anderson, league executive, says that both sides are not close to any sort of agreement concerning economic issues, which include salary, retirement benefits, and operational issues.
In the past back in 2001, it wasn’t until after week 1 that a contract was finalized putting the experienced officials back in the workforce. It’s difficult to trust that the replacement officials are caught up on the speed of the NFL, being that the game speeds up considerably during regular season play.