ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on SportsCenter on Wednesday afternoon that the two sides met late into the night on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, and they are working on hammering out a new deal to end the lockout.
Mortensen said on air that there is an “agreement in principle at hand,” while adding, “they’re just about finished with an agreement in principle.”
He later added, that “all signs look very, very good for this to end quite soon,” saying that one source even told him that the deal was done.
“Just the fact that they discussed last night the idea of getting the officials back on the field this weekend tells you how close they are,” he added.
Mortensen’s ESPN colleague, Adam Schefter, tweeted this as Mortensen was making his SportsCenter appearance.
As @mortreport is reporting, an agreement between NFL and NFLRA is at hand and both sides will work to have officials working this weekend.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 26, 2012
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who is an active Twitter user, “confirmed” the desire to get a deal done in a swift manner.
Your loud voices r heard about getting Refs back. We’re desperately trying 2 get it done! We want a deal that improves officiating overall.
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) September 26, 2012
Mortensen also reported that it’s uncertain whether or not the officials would be able to return in time for this week’s Thursday night game, which features the Cleveland Browns heading to Baltimore to take on the Ravens.