The NFL and the NFL Referees Association are negotiating the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement and the talks aren't progressing fast enough so the NFL confirmed they're starting the process of hiring and training replacement referees.
The problem is, where exactly do you find replacement referees? Aren't the NFL referees supposed to be the best at what they do? According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the league is seeking replacement referees from anywhere but the BCS, which is the next highest level of competition and probably the best place to find replacements. Absent the BCS, the NFL will have to find referees in smaller conferences, retired college referees and, according to Schefter, even the Arena league.
The NFL is a billion dollar business and something as crucial as officiating needs to be at its highest level. The use of replacement referees has the potential to be a disaster with all kinds of grievances filed. Because of that, I still predict the two sides come to an agreement before the 11th hour, which would be closer to training camp.