The NFL seems to have moved a bit closer to having the legitimate referees this season sooner rather than later. The league and the NFL Referees Association have reportedly come to an agreement on backup crews, though pension still remains a hurdle, according to the NFL Network's Albert Breer.
The agreement on backup crews is an interesting one, but it at least solves that portion of the problem.
The NFL wanted to add 21 full-time officials but the two sides agreed to add 21 referees to a "developmental program" that will allow the additional officials to work with the regular crews during the week. The development referees will then get promoted when it is merited, according to Breer.
Though it's great that the two sides are agreeing to things, Breer reports that retirement is still the biggest hurdle remaining. The two sides have made strides on that, though, as the NFL brought benefits experts to Tuesday's meetings (that encompassed a jaw-dropping 17.5 hours, apparently).