NFL officials ended their labor dispute with the league by approving a new eight-year contract with a 112-5 vote Saturday in Irving, Texas, then hustled off to the airport to get to work.

Next stop, stadiums around the country.

And, the officials hope, anonymity.

"The last Super Bowl that I worked, when we got in the locker room, I said, 'You know, the best thing about this game, nobody will remember who refereed this game,' " said Scott Green, president of the referees' association. "That's how we like to work."

The vote ended a labor spat that created three weeks of increasingly chaotic games run by replacement officials who drew criticism of everyone from the average fan to President Barack Obama.

"It was pretty much 'Come on in and vote,' " Green said. "We're going to talk football now. We're going to stop talking about CBAs and lockouts and now we're going to talk about rules and video and getting ourselves ready to work football games."

They may get ovations similar to the one bestowed on the crew that worked Thursday's Cleveland Browns-Baltimore Ravens game with the tentative deal in place.

The referees met for about 90 minutes Friday night to go over the contract, then gathered for 30 minutes Saturday morning before approving the contract.

"We are obviously pleased to hear it," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email Saturday.

Because they were aware of the financial parameters, most of the discussion by the referees involved non-economic issues such as year-round work and developmental squads, said Tim Millis, the association's executive director.

By late Wednesday, the sides had a contract calling for officials' 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.

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

The officials that worked Thursday's Ravens-Browns game were cheered from the moment they walked onto the field. The difference between the regular crew and replacements was clear. The officials kept the game in control, curtailing the chippy play and choppy pace that had marred the first three weeks of the regular season.

"The thing we're most proud of is the lesson that we all learned," Green said. "If you're going to be in a professional league, you've got top-notch coaches, you need professional officials, as well."

Giants: New York will be without wide receiver Hakeem Nicks for Sunday night's game against Philadelphia because of a knee problem. Nicks previously missed a Sept. 19 win over Carolina with a sore foot. The Giants will likely start either Domenik Hixon or Ramses Barden. Hixon missed the Panthers game with a concussion but is probable this week.

Chargers: San Diego signed kicker Nick Novak to replace Nate Kaeding for Sunday's game at Kansas City. To make room for Novak on the roster, the Chargers released offensive lineman Reggie Wells. Kaeding hurt his groin in practice Friday. After Kaeding tore up his knee on the opening kickoff in the 2011 season opener, Novak spent the final 15 games with the Chargers and connected on 27 of 34 field goal attempts.

Bears: Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte is questionable for Chicago's game Monday night at Dallas because of a sprained ankle. He was injured in a loss at Green Bay on Sept. 13 and sat out last week's win over St. Louis.