The NFL Players Association has publicly accused the league's owners of greed in the NFL's dispute with the Referees Association.
The NFLPA executive committee posted a letter on its website Sunday that questions the stubbornness in making a settlement with the referees, who have locked out all season.
"It is lost on us as to how you allow a Commissioner to cavalierly issue suspensions and officials that you trained and entrusted to maintain that very health and safety," the NFLPA letter read. "It has been reported that the two sides are apart by approximately $60,000 per team. We note that your Commissioner has fined an individual player as much in the name of 'safety.' Your actions are looking more and more like simple greed. As players, we see this game as more than the 'product' you reference at times. You cannot simply switch to a group of cheaper officials and fulfill your legal, moral, and duty obligations to us and our fans. You need to end the lockout and bring back the officials immediately."
The regular referees have been locked out since June, and there has been considerable controversy about the ability of the replacement refs to handle the games adequately.
The NFL and the NFL Referees Association engaged in substantial talks Tuesday and Wednesday, multiple sources, but there has been no resolution involving their contract dispute.
Salary, retirement benefits and operational issues are among the issues being negotiated. NFL.com reported that benefits remain a major issue, and that not much progress was made in the talks last week.