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Reports: NFL, referees closing in on new deal

2:56 PM, Sep 26, 2012   |    comments
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Two days after a controversial call cost the Green Bay Packers a win, the NFL and the referees' union are reportedly nearing an end to a lockout that put replacement officials on the field since the start of the season.

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According to several reports, the NFL and the union are close to a new deal that would allow the league's regular officials to return to work, possibly as early as this weekend.

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ESPN reported Wednesday that "an agreement in principle is at hand," and The New York Times reported that the sides ''were closing in" on a way to end the impasse. ESPN cited unidentified sources from both sides; the Times cited a person briefed on the negotiations.

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A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that the NFL and its locked-out officials were meeting Wednesday. The sides met for about 14 hours starting Tuesday into early Wednesday. They broke for a few hours before reconvening in an attempt to resolve the dispute and end the firestorm over the use of replacement refs.

Associated Press

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