The official on the left appears to be signaling a touchback, which would mean a Packers interception. The other official signals a touchdown.
Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
New York, NY (Sports Network) - NFL commissioner Roger Goodell held a brief
news conference Thursday and said Monday's controversial finish between
Seattle and Green Bay was just "another factor" that led to a new collective
bargaining agreement with the league's officials.
The league employed replacement officials during the preseason and the first
three weeks of the regular season while negotiations toward new a CBA with the
NFL Referees' Association continued.
Goodell said talks had intensified over the past 10 days and Monday's game
wasn't a major tipping point in discussions.
"I just think it was another factor that kept pushing us," Goodell said in
reference to the play that prompted national outrage among fans and constant
coverage by the media.
On Monday, replacement officials awarded Seahawks receiver Golden Tate a
winning touchdown catch while battling with Green Bay defensive back M.D.
Jennings on the game's final play. Replays appeared to show that Jennings had
control of a desperation Russell Wilson heave for an interception, but
officials instead ruled simultaneous possession and the winning touchdown in
Seattle's 14-12 win.
"Get the officials back on the field, get an agreement. That was the objective
and (the play) just helped push us through and helped us get the agreement we
needed to," Goodell continued. "Everyone wanted it, the officials wanted it.
Everybody was to the point of getting this concluded."
The sides resumed discussions Tuesday and worked through Wednesday before
announcing an eight-year agreement. The regular officials were set to be on
the field for Thursday's game between the Browns and Ravens in Baltimore.
"We're thrilled to get an eight-year agreement with the officials and happy
they're back on the field tonight," Goodell remarked.
Goodell wasn't asked directly if he thought Monday's finish was correctly
ruled by the replacement crew, but indicated that controversial plays were
simply part of the game.
"You never want to see a game end like that," he noted. "You never want to see
a game end on a controversial play, but it happens in sports. You always want
to try to avoid those controversial plays, particularly at the end of a game."
Part of the new long-term contract includes modifications in the officials'
benefits package and salary increases. The league will also have the option
hiring officials on a full-time basis and adding a new pool of officials to
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