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Memo: NFL offered to narrow $4M gap by $1M before talks broke down with referees

Jason Cole
Yahoo Sports

The NFL circulated a memo to each of the league's 32 clubs Sunday morning to explain that the NFL Referees Association broke off negotiations with the league after the NFL had offered an additional $1 million in annual compensation to its original deal.

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Replacement officials are set to take the field for the NFL season opener Wednesday. (AP)

The NFLRA has contended that there is a $4 million difference between what the league has offered and what the union wants. NFL vice president and general counsel Jeff Pash wrote the memo to explain the NFL's position and give a detailed account of how the talks transpired and ultimately unraveled on Saturday.

[Memo: The NFL's account]

NFLRA attorney Mike Arnold responded in the form of a memo.

The league appears prepared to move on with replacement officials in the opening week even though the group has come under heavy criticism for its game management during the preseason.

[Related: More on broken contract talks with NFL-NFLRA]

On the flip side, the NFL is willing to give officials a raise from the average salary of $149,000 they had during the 2011 season.

No talks are scheduled between the sides and Monday is the deadline for the league and the union to settle the issue and get officials on the field for the season opener, according to a source. The season starts Wednesday when the Dallas Cowboys play at the New York Giants.

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