The following tweet was sent out by Adam Schefter just a few minutes ago:
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
Thank god. We'll update when we know more.
UPDATE (12:30 p.m.): Here is Chris Mortensen's report, which just popped up on ESPN.com:
Both sides have made concessions on previous sticking points such as a taxi squad of 21 new officials and pension plans that sources say the final meaningful hurdle is, as one source said, "about a little more money."
While league sources say owners who participated in a conference call with commissioner Roger Goodell during Tuesday's talks had instructed the negotiating team to set a firm barrier for the financial settlement, the NFLRA is prepared to accept a new agreement primarily in the form of a "ratification bonus," which would compensate its 121-member union for concessions it is willing to make.
The NFLRA and the league have all but agreed on developing a 21-member "taxi squad" that Goodell has pushed, but not at the financial cost of the union members.
UPDATE (12:55 p.m.): The Washington Post's Mark Maske adds the following:
Deal between the NFL, locked-out referees "could be this week" but that isn't yet a certainty, a person familiar with the talks said.— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) September 26, 2012
And here is Mike Freeman of CBS:
Bottom line: so much progress has been made that it's a question of if real officials come back today or tomorrow.— mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) September 26, 2012
UPDATE (1:23 p.m.): And now Peter King gets in the mix. 'Round and 'round we go:
I'm hearing NFLRA negotiator Scott Green has notified officials that a deal is not imminent. Stay tuned, obviously.— Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) September 26, 2012
UPDATE (5:09 p.m.): And now Mort is bringin' the jokes!
Good news is NFL and NFL Refs are still negotiating; bad news is they're still negotiating.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) September 26, 2012