It seems as if the NFL and NFL Referees have an agreement in place to end the lockout of the officials, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. Reports say that both sides met until around 2 a.m., making enough progress to possibly have us seeing the regular officials back on the sideline as early as this weekend.

Was the "toucherception" in Seattle the reason behind the sudden hastiness to get this deal done? One can only speculate, but after seeing the outpouring of outrage from NFL fans and players alike, I don't think the league could really afford to give things the chance to get any worse.

In addition to the bad calls, the other glaring issues have been administering the rules in a timely fashion, as well as overall control of the game and the players involved. The questionable touchdown/interception/non-call for offensive pass interference was merely the straw that broke the camel's back.

Talks between the league and the union have surrounded compensation for officials, with a pension plan being one of the biggest hurdles between the two. Sources tell Chris Mortensen that this final bump in getting a deal in place is "about a little more money."

(story developing)

[via ESPN]