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NFL VP: Replacement referees likely to begin regular season

NFL vice president of operations Ray Anderson said that he believes replacement officials will be on the field at the start of the regular season, reports Newsday's Bob Glauber

"I would anticipate that it would go into the regular season, unless the parties get back to the table in a hurry,'' Anderson told Glauber on Monday. "And frankly, I don't see either of us stepping forward and making that move.

"We feel we have been aggressively fair in our offer on the economic and non-economic issues, and they don't. Until that bridge is narrowed or shortened some, and I don't know when that time might come, I'm focused on getting the current officials ready for Week 3 and Week 4."

Replacement officials have worked the preseason and been criticized by players and coaches. "We were all laughing on the sidelines at how clueless they were," a player told CBS Sports' Mike Freeman.

Mike Pereira, the former director of officiating for the NFL, told Glauber that "they may be competent officials in the levels they come from, whether it's Division II, III or semipro, but this is the NFL. This is a game that can't be handled properly by a group like this. I feel bad for them, but that's the way it is."

The dispute between the league and the referees' association stems from proposed structural changes. The NFL wants to make officials, who are now part-time employees, into full-time employees. That would require many referees to give up their current full-time jobs.

The league also wants to add three crews to rotate with the current teams of officials.

 

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