The NFL will hold training sessions for replacement officials later this month as the league moves to be ready for the start of the season without its regular referees and crews.
“Negotiations with the NFL Referees Association on a new collective bargaining agreement remain unresolved and the previous CBA has expired,” the NFL said in a statement. “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.”
The NFL said its last negotiating session took place Sunday in conjunction with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The league says it has “made a proposal that includes substantial increases in compensation for all game officials.”
Negotiations for a new agreement began back in October. The previous contract was six years. Hopefully, a deal can be struck before the season begins.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune