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“We hope our regular crews are ready to go after they get everything worked out,” Hill said. “But if not, the game has to go on.”

The NFL made a seven-year proposal that offered increases of between 5 percent and 11 percent in wages per year. First-year officials who made an average of $78,000 in 2011 would earn more than $165,000 by the end of the new agreement. A 10-year veteran in 2011 who made $139,000 would get more than $200,000 in 2018.

Aiello said the NFL also offered a retirement arrangement under which each official would receive annual contributions starting at $16,500 and increasing to almost $23,000, plus a wide range of investment opportunities and expanded reimbursement for medical insurance costs.

The players’ union expressed its concern about replacement officials, issuing a statement saying:

“In 2011, the NFL tasked officials with increased responsibilities in protecting player health and safety, and its search for scabs undermines that important function. Professional athletes require professional referees, and we believe in the NFL Referees Association’s trained first responders. “

In 2001, the league used replacement officials for one preseason game, then the first weekend of the regular season. An agreement was then reached, and another CBA was negotiated in 2006 that expired after last season.

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AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this story.