Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 9/26/12

After the embarrassment that took place on Monday night in Seattle, it sounds like the NFL may have been motivated to soften its stance a bit and make a legitimate effort to end the referee lockout. According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the NFL and NFL Referees Association are believed to have made enough progress in their talks on Tuesday night that the regular officiating crews could return to action this weekend.

A source familiar with the talks told Mortensen that both sides have agreed to a deal in principle. It was initially believed that the regular officials would need at least a week to get up to speed with any rule changes or additions for the 2012 season, but the NFLRA says its referees have already been trained and are prepared. Pension plans are reportedly one of the final hurdles that need to be cleared, but the source said the debate was only over “a little bit more money.”

An ugly situation reached its boiling point on Monday night, so it’s no surprise the league and owners could be willing to compromise. Whether ratings remain high or not, the product on the field has taken a serious tumble. Between players bashing the league on Twitter and political figures proposing legislation to ban replacement officials altogether, the NFL has officially lost control of the situation. Typically when one side loses control, a labor disagreement comes to an end.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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