Can someone explain to me why the league is playing hardball with the officials? Don't get me wrong -- I'm not crying "injustice!" for a bunch of guys who don't work a full month's worth of days in any year. I just don't understand the value in it for the league. Last year, the NFL spent an approximate total of $8.3 million on the entire season's worth of officiating. That boils down to $260,000 a team. That's 33% less than the minimum salary for an UFA. Meanwhile, the replacement ref situation has become a distracting bit of bad publicity at the beginning of this season, and bad publicity has a very real negative dollar value... and if there's one pro ports league in the US that clearly gets that, it's the NFL.