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September 27th, 2012
10:43 AM ET

CNN's Jason Carroll on NFL deal with referees: 'refs really got the better end'

 A sigh of relief.

The NFL lockout is officially over. Monday night’s wrong call seems to be the league's last straw and finally compelled the NFL to come to a new eight-year collective agreement with the referees last night. This means the replacement refs are off the field and the regulars are back on when the Baltimore Ravens host the Cleveland Browns tonight. Jason Carroll joins Zoraida Sambolin and Alina Cho on “Early Start” this morning with more on the settlement.

 The agreement seemed inevitable after Monday night’s play. “There was definitely a lot of incentive to get back to the table and to get this thing fixed,” with “both sides working late into the night to make sure that they can get a deal that both sides would be happy with,” Carroll reports. While there were compromises on both sides, “I think it’s clear that the refs really got the better end of the deal,” Carroll says. They will keep their pensions and receive a pay bump.

 The unprecedented eight-year deal was finally reached after intense pressure from the outside. “It was really the pressure coming in from the fans, from everyone watching NFL, to really get this done,” Carroll says.

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