NFL, referees close to agreement, according to reports

The NFL and NFL Referees Association are close to coming to an agreement to end the lockout of the officials,  according to multiple reports . ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that the two sides will work to get the regular officials on the field by this weekend's set of games.

As of this morning, it was reported that the league and the NFLRA had  closed the gap  on backup crews but remained at odds over pension plans. After spending all of Tuesday negotiating through Wednesday morning, the two sides agreed upon a developmental program that would incorporate 21 officials to the current pool of 121 NFLRA members.

The benefit program remains the largest stumbling block remaining in the negotiation.

Following Monday night's controversial conclusion to the  Green Bay Packers  and  Seattle Seahawks  game, the demand for the regular officials became overwhelming with several players taking to social media to make their voices heard. It now seems as though the NFL was listening.

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