Chris Mortenson and Adam Schefter of ESPN are reporting that the NFL and the NFL Referee\'s Association are close to finishing a deal that would bring an end to the officials being locked out as soon as this weekend.
Controversy stemming from the ending of the Monday night game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, coupled with threats from the government getting involved, seems to have expedited talks between the two sides. In addition, the NFL Players Association have made their thoughts known via a letter to the league claiming that they are not working within a safe workplace because of the use of replacement officials.
Schefter reports that there is "an agreement in principle at hand" per Mortenson and that means the two sides are "just about finished with the agreement in principle."
None of this is surprising right now when you look at the backlash that has surfaced from the blown call Monday night. You have to think that a few owners have now stepped forward to lead the charge in giving some concessions to the locked out officials. Unfortunately the Packers took the full brunt of this, but at least it appears the end is now near and we will have the regular officials back to criticize instead of the scabs.