According to a report published by the Associated Press, the National Football League and its officials have come to terms on an agreement, ending a walkout that began nearly three weeks ago.
The deal, which calls for a 50 percent raise this season and 100 percent by the fourth year of a six-year contract, still must be ratified by 119 officials, who are voting by e-mail.
Total vote counts are expected to be concluded by Wednesday, but initial indications appear likely that this weekend will mark the return of the veteran officials.
A source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the deal was worked out between Bill Carollo, the executive director of the NFL Referees Association, and Jeff Bergman, two of the four members of the negotiating committee.
Tom Condon, who represented the officials union, was not available for comment and NFL spokesman Joe Browne said the league had no official comment.
"We will not say anything until we have agreed to a deal," he said.
Under the previous contract, which was signed prior to the 1994 season, a fifth-year official made $42,295 and an official beginning his tenth year made $64,215. The new agreement calls for those figures to be increased by 50 per cent this year and 100 per cent by contracts end.
NFL officials reportedly agree to terms
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