The reign of replacement officials, wrought with tumult and negativity, isn't over yet but the NFL and representatives from the NFL Referees Association held face-to-face talks in a fourth straight day of negotiations on Tuesday.
According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, a chasm remains between the locked-out officials and the NFL over pension and the number of reserve crews on watch as replacement optional replacements should any official be rated as underperforming.
Monday's officiating debacle in Seattle jeopardized the league's integrity, per players association executive and Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
The NFL has been unwavering in most of its demands in negotiations with the sidelined regular officiating crews. No deal was imminent as of midday Tuesday.
The SI.com report said a sticking point is the NFL's reluctance to guarantee all officials would work at least 15 games. The league wants officials to agree to a grading and evaluation system that would effectively bench game officials who didn't receive passing grades consistently.
Performance of replacement officials dominated headlines in a chaotic Week 3 that ended late Monday with the botched touchdown call that gave the Seahawks a touchdown when either offensive pass interference or an interception would have been the appropriate on-field ruling.