Roger Goodell satisfied with performance of replacement refs
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell expressed satisfaction with the performance of replacement referees during Wednesday’s season-opening game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys.
“I think our officials did a more than adequate job last night and I think that we’ve proven that we can train them and get them up to NFL standards,” said Goodell in an interview during the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit.
Week 1 marked the first time that the league used replacement officials in a regular-season game since the first week of the 2001 season while negotiating for a new collective bargaining agreement with regular referees.
Goodell, however, clarified that the satisfactory performance by replacement referees could be used by the league as leverage in its negotiation with regular officials.
“I think we were dealing from a position of strength from the get-go,” Goodell said. “We did this 11 years ago. The game does not stop.”
The league was forced to use replacement officials after it has failed to reach an agreement with the NFL Referees Association last week
Goodell also revealed that the league and referees are far apart in negotiations. He said the league has made an offer that would raise the average official’s salary from $150,000 to $200,000 but the referees want more.
The referees also insist on keeping the current defined benefits program, while the NFL is against the system.
The league is paying head referee replacements $3,500 per game and $3,000 per game to the other officials on the field. The lowest paid rookie official made $4,500 per game last season.