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According to a report from ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the NFL is close to a deal that would bring the lockout with the referees to an end.
Patriots fans, perhaps as much as any other NFL fanbase, have had enough with the replacement officials as questionable calls made by the officials have the outcome of the team's two recent losses. That being said, it appears that the lockout could be coming to an end soon. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports:
The NFL and the NFL Referees Association made enough progress in negotiations Tuesday night that the possibility of the locked-out officials returning in time to work this week's games has been discussed, according to sources on both sides.
An agreement in principle is at hand, according to one source familiar to talks, although NFL owners have postured with a "no more compromise" stance.
Although league sources said it would take a week to get the locked-out officials on the field, the NFLRA says its 121 referees have been trained on the new rules implemented last season, have already passed physicals or are prepared to pass physicals immediately. New official game uniforms designed by Nike are "hardly an obstacle," according to a source.
Of course, we'll keep you updated throughout the day as any new developments unfold!