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NFL looking at possible replacement refs

Associated Press Modified: May 10, 2012 at 10:47 pm •  Published: May 10, 2012

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The NFL is looking for potential replacement officials while it negotiates with the officials' association on a new contract.

The previous contract expired after last season and another negotiating session is expected later this month, NFL Referees Association executive director Tim Millis says.

"I am surprised by the timing," Millis said Thursday of the league memo to its officiating scouting department to begin identifying possible replacements. "In 2001, they did something like this, but they didn't in 2006."

Millis said reports that the sides had reached an impasse were exaggerated.

"There's not any one hang-up," Millis said. "It's all part of the process. We have not talked to anyone about this (letter). It's not a product of any CBA negotiations.

"We will negotiate in May and June and July to reach an agreement. We want to get it done as soon as we can. There is no impasse at all."

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