The NFL and its referees will use federal mediation to try to come to terms on a new contract, reports The Washington Post's Mark Maske.
Without a new agreement, the league risks having to use replacement officials for the 2012-13 season.
The current contract between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association ends this month. On Thursday, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service announced that the two sides would be attending mediation to try to agree on a new deal. The league and the NFL Players Association used the same service last summer in talks for a new collective bargaining agreement. That mediation failed, and the players were locked out for more than four months before the two sides agreed to a new 10-year CBA.