Refs, NFL Reach Tentative Contract

5:07 PM, Sep 27, 2012   |    comments
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BALTIMORE (AP) - Some fans will be cheering for the Browns, and some will be cheering for the Ravens -- but a lot of people will be cheering for the referees at tonight's game in Baltimore.

It will be their first game back after a tentative agreement last night ended the NFL's lockout of its game officials. The substitute refs have been roundly criticized for blown calls, including one that decided the outcome of Monday night's game.

One player says he never thought he'd be excited to see the referees return to work -- but Josh Cribbs of the Browns tweets, "It's about time."

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is apologizing to fans, adding that the lockout has been "painful for everybody."

The deal reached last night came in the aftermath of Seattle's chaotic last-second win over Green Bay on Monday night. The league has conceded that the game-winning touchdown should have been negated by a penalty.

The proposed agreement keeps in place the current defined benefit pension plan for current officials through the 2016 season or until the official earns 20 years of service. The plan will then be frozen.

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