NFL reaches tentative agreement with refs - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

NFL reaches tentative agreement with refs, back on field Thursday night

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NEW YORK (WKOW) -- NFL referees will be on the field Thursday night for the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns.

The National Football League and the NFL Referees Association reached a tentative agreement late Wednesday that ends a three month lockout. The two sides will finalize paperwork Thursday morning, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

"Our officials will be back on the field starting tomorrow night," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a joint statement released by the NFL and NFLRA. "We appreciate the commitment of the NFLRA in working through the issues to reach this important agreement."

The new collective bargaining agreement between the two sides is for eight years, according to ESPN. The deal must be ratified by 51 percent of the union's 121 members, according to The Associated Press. They plan to vote Friday and Saturday in Dallas.

"Our Board of Directors has unanimously approved taking this proposed CBA to the membership for a ratification vote," said Scott Green, president of the NFLRA. "We are glad to be getting back on the field for this week's games."

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL and the referees' union have reached a tentative contract agreement, ending an impasse that began in June when the league locked out the officials and used replacements instead.

With Commissioner Roger Goodell at the table, the sides concluded two days of talks at midnight Thursday with the announcement of a tentative deal, which must be ratified by the union's 121 members.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted "Pleased to report that an agreement has been reached with the NFL Referees Association. Details to follow."

The replacements worked the first three weeks of games, triggering a wave of frustration that threatened to disrupt the rest of the season. After a missed call cost the Green Bay Packers a win on a chaotic final play at Seattle on Monday night, the two sides really got serious.

It was not certain who would work this week's games, which begin Thursday night with Baltimore hosting Cleveland.

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