Despite the fact that there's really no peace between the league and the NFL Players Association, there is a collectively bargained agreement through the 2020 season. What happens between the warring factions will have limited, if any, repercussions during actual games. However NFL referees may be an entirely different matters. The NFL Referees Association and the NFL are headed to federal mediation, according to the Washington Post.
The agreement between the NFL Referees Association and the NFL expires at the end of this month and the league is preparing the upcoming season with replacement referees if a deal isn't struck.
The current deal expires at the end of this month and the NFL has instructed its scouting department for officials to begin preparing for the possibility that replacement officials could be used during the upcoming season if a deal is not struck.
But from where? The most logical conclusion would plucking referees from college football, but we question that as an alternative. Many of the BCS conference referees are already NFL officials and the NFL would be wise to leave the collegiate game alone. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter suspects that the replacement hires could be retired officials or referees from semi-professional football.
Regardless the league and the NFL Referees Association expect to get a deal done eventually.