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Why did this deal take so long?

In the end, both the league and the officials offered compromises

Originally Published: September 27, 2012
By Andrew Brandt | ESPN.com

Our national nightmare of underprepared and overabused replacement referees is over. The NFL's second lockout in two years -- first the players, then the referees -- has ended. The league's labor forces are secure for 10 and eight years, respectively.

The lengths of these deals are not designed simply to avoid more labor pain anytime soon. They provide stability to fans, sponsors and TV networks. They also provide cost certainty to owners and prospective owners, raising the already ...

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