Originally written on Sox and Dawgs  |  Last updated 11/8/14

WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 18: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (R) speaks during a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee with NFL Players Association Executive Director Gene Upshaw (L) and Pro Football Hall of Fame player and Coach Mike Ditka (C) on Capitol Hill September 18, 2007 in Washington, DC. Former players and league officials appeared before the committee for a hearing on the 'NFL Retirement System,' focusing on the current compensation system for retirees with claims of advanced injuries that became symptomatic after retiring from the NFL. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Welcome Back Officials

Early Thursday morning the NFL and the NFLRA reached an agreement on a new 8-year agreement.  The new pact is expected to be ratified on Friday by the union.

Commissioner Roger Goodell in the meantime has lifted the lockout of the officials and that paves the way for them to be on the field this evening in Baltimore for the Browns-Ravens game and then for the full slate of games on Sunday and the Monday night finale.

The officials did get a nice pay raise, as a senior official will now top out at $205,000 during the new contract.

John Parry will be the referee for the Patriots game Sunday against the Bills in Buffalo.  His last game was also a Patriots game…Super Bowl XLVI.

Belichick Fined

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was fined $50,000 by the NFL for “impermissible physical contact with an official” for his actions following New England’s 31-30 loss on Sunday night to Baltimore.

Belichick said he accepts his fine and he never meant any disrespect to the officials.

First Round of Hall Nominees

The NFL has announced the first round of nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013 and among the nominees is Patriots owner Robert Kraft who is nominated as a contributor.

Inductees for the Class of 2013 will be announced Super Bowl Week.

Roster Moves

The Patriots on Thursday announced that recently signed TE Kellen Winslow Jr. had asked for and was granted his release.  Winslow was seen in the locker room before practice and the announcement and was asked for an interview but declined.

He wasn’t in Foxboro very long as he played in only 1 game and had one catch for 12 yards.  Upon his arrival he did sign an injury waiver due to his knee injuries.  He had mentioned last week that he is in constant pain but that he’s been able to fight through it and play.  It is generally speculated that he decided he just couldn’t put up with the pain any more and will walk away from the game.

Earlier this week the team released DT Marcus Forston and signed DT Terrell McClain.

Forston, an rookie undrafted free agent out of the University of Miami, was projected as a top pick amongst the defensive linemen available in the draft, but he saw his stock dive over the last two seasons and went undrafted.

He didn’t appear in any of the Patriots three games.

McClain, a former 3rd round pick of the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft, played his college football at the University of South Florida.

Carolina released him prior to the start of the season and he was a free agent when he signed with the Patriots.

Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveMichaelsII

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