NFL referees approve 8-year deal with NFL

The National Football League referees voted and approved their new eight-year deal with the league Saturday, according to the AP.

The measure passed by a vote of 112-5, which officially ends the lockout. Salaries will increase to $173,000 in 2013, and get up to to $205,000 by 2019.Following the vote, which took place in Irving, Texas, many refs will get on planes and fly off to various NFL cities in preparation for Sunday's games.

The deal was not official until Saturday morning, although the refs did return on Thursday night for the Browns-Ravens game with an agreement in place.

Fans around the league rejoiced as replacement referees have generated controversy in many NFL games. Frustrations reached an apex on Monday night, when a questionable final call determined the outcome of the Seahawks-Packers meeting. Said line judge Jeff Bergman:

"The last play of the game was something that was going to happen sooner or later. It gave us and the league an opportunity to get together and hammer out a deal that was going to get hammered out anyway."

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