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“Those guys might mess up every now and then, but we can live with that happening with professional guys out there,” Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson said.

For the Packers, Redskins, Lions and other teams who voiced their displeasure with calls that might have swayed games, the agreement doesn’t change their records. The commissioner said he watched Monday night’s chaotic Packers-Seahawks finish at home.

“You never want to see a game end like that,” he said.

The new agreement will improve officiating in the future, Goodell asserted, reducing mistakes like those made Monday and making the strains of the last three weeks worthwhile.

Goodell acknowledged “you’re always worried” about the perception of the league.

“Obviously, this has gotten a lot of attention,” he said. “It hasn’t been positive, and it’s something that you have to fight through and get to the long term. … We always are going to have to work harder to make sure we get people’s trust and confidence in us.”

The agreement hinged on working out pension and retirement benefits for the officials, who are part-time employees of the league. Goodell said the NFL’s offer to increase the deal’s length from five to eight years spurred some concessions from the officials.

The tentative pact calls for their salaries to increase from an average of $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019. The current defined benefit pension plan will remain in place for current officials through the 2016 season or until the official earns 20 years’ service.

The defined benefit plan will then be frozen. Retirement benefits will be provided for new hires, and for all officials beginning in 2017, through a defined contribution arrangement.

Beginning with the 2013 season, the NFL will have the option to hire a number of officials on a full-time basis to work year round, including on the field. The NFL also will be able to retain additional officials for training and development and can assign those officials to work games. The number of additional officials will be determined by the league.

The NFL players’ union, which had protested that using replacements jeopardized health and safety, heartily welcomed back the regular officials.

“Our workplace is safer with the return of our professional referees,” its statement said.

The dispute even made its way to the campaign trail, with President Barack Obama’s spokesman, Jay Carney, calling Thursday “a great day for America.”

“The president’s very pleased that the two sides have come together,” Carney said.

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