The “regular” refs are back.
The National Football League struck a tentative agreement with the union representing referees late Wednesday night.
“Our officials will be back on the field,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Wednesday night.
The league has used replacement officials for the first three weeks of the regular season, as well as the pre-season.
The eight year deal increases referee pay from $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013. The pay will rise to $205,000 by 2019.
The agreement will also allow the NFL to hire some officials on a year-round basis and hire additional officials so they can be trained.
“This agreement supports long-term reforms that will make officiating better. The teams, players and fans want and deserve both consistency and quality in officiating,” Goddell said.