You don't think the NFL knows where their bread is buttered?
Without gambling, cut franchise values in half.
The point being.....someone making $3K a game with an employment outlook of weeks, can be gotten to much easier that regular refs. Who cares about $3K when someone comes to you with a few envelopes with $50K in it to make sure Pitt covers?
Here's my thought on what NFL refs get paid. The NFL is the top league/sport in the United States. I understand many refs only ref 16 games, but give me a break. These refs should be getting paid more than any other ref in a different sport. You can try to argue less work and what not, but if you do, you should apply the same thoughts to the players in the NFL. The refs in the NFL, highest revenue producing league, deserve to be the highest paid refs in all sports.