NFL & referees reach agreement, refs back on field Thursday

NEW YORK ( - The NFL reached an agreement with the NFL Referees Association on Wednesday night to end the lockout, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the refs will be back on the field starting Thursday night.

The new collective bargaining agreement is for eight years, the longest between the league and game officials in NFL history.

"We appreciate the commitment of the NFLRA in working through the issues to reach this important agreement," Goodell said in a joint statement issued by the NFL and NFLRA.

"Our Board of Directors has unanimously approved taking this proposed CBA to the membership for a ratification vote," said Scott Green, president of the NFLRA. "We are glad to be getting back on the field for this week's games."