NFL refs approve Deal


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Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(IRVING, Texas) — The deal is official.  NFL referees voted and approved a new eight-year deal with the NFL on Saturday morning.  Referees approved the contract by 112-5 vote and all officials will be on the field for Sunday’s games.

A deal was reached late Wednesday night after the controversial Monday night football replacement referee call between the Packers and Seahawks.

“It’s all history now,” head linesman Tom Stabile said Friday. “For us, it was a benefit. It may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

The tentative contract called for refs’ salaries to increase from an average of $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019.

“The last play of the game was something that was going to happen sooner or later,” Line judge Jeff Bergman said. “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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