NEW YORK - The NFL will start hiring and training possible replacement officials with a deal not yet completed with the NFL Referees Association.
Talks between the league and the officials broke down after two mediation sessions. The two sides had been negotiating since October and have said they expect a new collective bargaining agreement in time for the upcoming season.
But that optimism has disappeared.
A session was held Sunday under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and the NFLRA said the league "terminated negotiations" on Monday.
The league said that regional training sessions for replacement officials would begin this month "to ensure that there is no disruption to NFL games this season."
"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 league said in a statement.
I wouldn't mind if they tossed the whole bunch of current refs and give the jobs to people who call the games fairly.
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