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Referees blow whistle on 'scab' plan

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Referees blow whistle on 'scab' plan

NFL officials are blowing the whistle on the NFLs plan to replace them.

Lost somewhat amid all the discussion of Bountygate, free agent comings and goings and various player arrests this summer is this: The NFL as of now has locked out its referees as of early June and is in the process of hiring replacement referees should the dispute not be settled before the season starts.

CBSSports.com got its hands on a memo the league sent out concerning replacement refs, and as CBSSports Mike Freeman wrote, what the NFL wants in its replacement refs is scary.

Major college conferences forbid their referees from also working NFL games. So whos left?

According to Freeman, the memo from the NFLs director of recruiting, Ron Baynes, indicated that the league is looking for:

1. An Official who have recently retired from a successful career in College officiating and is still physically able to officiate at a high level of competency.

"2. Lower division college officials, professional league officials and semi-professional league officials whose window of opportunity for advancement has pretty much closed but who have the ability to work higher levels but just got overlooked."

Says Freeman: This is amazing. The NFL is going to trust its billion-dollar business to semi-pro refs and dudes who just got off the back nine?

The dispute, as it usually does, boils down to money. The officials, whose threat to strike precipitated the lockout, say the NFL planned to lock them out all along.

"Lockout seems to be their negotiating strategy with everyone," referee Scott Green, president of the referees union, told the Associated Press. "We don't want to be locked out. We want to get back to the table and get this resolved."

Current and former referees also say that using replacement officials could compromise player safety.

The integrity of the game will be compromised when you put people out on the field who have no idea of the timing, rules or management of the game or player safety, MikePereira, former NFL vice president of officiating, told a Fox Sports Radio show. Much like not seeing the best players, you wont be seeing the best officiating. Youre going to have people that have never officiated player safety rules at this level before and that will lead to mistakes.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Hayden Hurst is actually all set for training camp

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Hayden Hurst is actually all set for training camp

<em>This post has been updated with a correction to Hurst's injury status.</em>

Kick off your Wednesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. Some good news for Ravens fans: Despite reports earlier that a hamstring injury has left tight end Hayden Hurst 'questionable' to participate in training camp from Rotoworld, he said he's doing just fine. Hurst had hamstring issues previously but returned to practice. Last season, Hurst missed four games following foot surgery. After a previous version of this post was published, he tweeted that he is not questionable for camp. We regret the error. 

2. On "Good Morning Football," Maurice Jones-Drew called Earl Thomas the new Ed Reed. Jones-Drew says Thomas will have the biggest defensive impact on his new spot with the Ravens.

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. ET deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens and Rotoworld for news points.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Wide receiver battle underway

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Wide receiver battle underway

Kick off your Tuesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. Aside from the battle at left guard, the Ravens also have a battle going on at wide receiver. 13 of the 90-man roster are wide receivers, and when asked who have been standouts at practice thus far, many said Antoine Wesley and Sean Modster. 

2. Just for fun: The Ravens' team photographer Shawn Hubbard took these amazing portraits of the team that will get you hyped up for this season.

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. ET deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens for news points.

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