Skip to content

League explains cap adjustment by pointing to “competitive balance”

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins Getty Images

The NFL has not yet announced that the Cowboys will lose $10 million in cap space or that the Redskins will lose $36 million in cap space.  Or that the money will be reallocated to all other teams except the Raiders and Saints.

But the league has acknowledged generally that an issue in the uncapped year of 2010 has caused the league to do, well, something.

“The Management Council Executive Committee determined that the contract practices of a small number of clubs during the 2010 league year created an unacceptable risk to future competitive balance, particularly in light of the relatively modest salary cap growth projected for the new agreement’s early years,” the league said in a statement forwarded to PFT by spokesman Greg Aiello.  “To remedy these effects and preserve competitive balance throughout the league, the parties to the CBA agreed to adjustments to team salary for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.  These agreed-upon adjustments were structured in a manner that will not affect the salary cap or player spending on a league-wide basis.”

As previously explained, the NFLPA agreed with the approach, because (according to multiple league sources) the NFL agreed in return to bump up the salary cap from the range of $116 million for 2012 to $120.6 million.

The Cowboys and Redskins contend that they have complied with the cap.

Though a fairly convoluted topic, the matter has generated significant interest because it directly impacts the ability of the Cowboys and Redskins to utilize cap space in 2012 and/or 2013.  For the Redskins, who have given up three first-round picks and a second-round pick for the rights to Robert Griffin III (or, possibly, Andrew Luck) need the cap space to sign free agents.

It necessarily will impact the Redskins’ ability to be competitive.  And to the extent that the activities in 2010 gave the Cowboys or Redskins a competitive advantage, keep in mind that neither team qualified for the playoffs in 2010 or 2011.

Permalink 79 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Dallas Cowboys, Home, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, Rumor Mill, Washington Redskins
79 Responses to “League explains cap adjustment by pointing to “competitive balance””
  1. roamingabriel says: Mar 12, 2012 11:33 PM

    Yeah, how did that collusion work out for MLB?

  2. roamingabriel says: Mar 12, 2012 11:34 PM

    Peyton Manning met between 5 & 6 hours late today with #Dolphins coach Joe Philbin and other staff members in Indianapolis, per sources.

  3. hutch119 says: Mar 12, 2012 11:37 PM

    This is all pretty messed up, but if it’s in the CBA that the Skins and Cowboys both agree’d to what case can they possibly make?

  4. babyhorsemorgan says: Mar 12, 2012 11:39 PM

    To restore competitive balance the league made the two teams adjust their caps. Right down over their ears and eyes. Tied tightly under the neck.

  5. thebigkahuna23 says: Mar 12, 2012 11:39 PM

    This matter is going to be resolved in court. The uncapped year was league wide. You can’t penalize a team for spending in an uncapped year. It’s like being at a buffet and getting charged extra because you’re eating more than some other person.

    I can see why Fuhrer Goodell is upset and red in the face. The teams abused a loophole. Get over it. Seriously that $20 million a year contract is getting to his head.

  6. toiletking says: Mar 12, 2012 11:40 PM

    It’s amazing that after all of what went down last year the league would do something so legally murky.

  7. zn0rseman says: Mar 12, 2012 11:42 PM

    The thing is that they signed free agents to long term deals, front loading their contracts so the bulk of the money would be impacted in the uncapped year. This gave them a long term advantage because the players signed were signed to multi-year deals. This was specifically against the agreed upon rules.

    The only question I have is… were those four teams alone? Someone previously pointed out the Bears signing Julius Peppers to a deal that had like 20 million all in 2010, but dropped to 2 million in later years.

  8. nineroutsider says: Mar 12, 2012 11:46 PM

    Whether they qualified for the dance is irrelevent; the fact remains that they had a agreement with the league and a pact with other owners…whether its right or wrong, they didn’t abide by it.

    Due to the nature of the league’s entity setup and governing docs, appeal process, etc. both teams are going to get punished and there is little they can do about it. They aren’t going to challenge it legally because to do that would be to hurt themselves. They have a pretty sweet setup with the anti-tax excemption that both teams profit from tremendously.

    So Skins fans (and Cowboy fans to lesser extent) you might as well let this go and just accept it…you’re screwed!

  9. vaskinsfan says: Mar 12, 2012 11:51 PM

    Couldn’t fans sue the NFL for committing fraud? The league committed fraud by approving these contracts and now penalizing not only the teams and players that will be cut to clear salary cap space but also the fans of these teams who’ve been duped into thinking their teams made legal moves. Again, this can’t be stressed enough, the NFL office APPROVED the contracts). Some fans may have made ticket puchase decisions in part thinking that their team would be more competitive with more salary cap space to improve their team with free agents.

  10. danielcp0303 says: Mar 12, 2012 11:55 PM

    This is opening pandora’s box. So you can be punished for something that isn’t against the rules, and the league will hide behind “competitive balance”? Where will it end? If you give a player a lot of money just so he won’t go somewhere else, will the league penalize that team? If you take a star player out of a game, does that violate competitive balance? This is horrible, your team could be next.

  11. bigdinla says: Mar 12, 2012 11:56 PM

    zn0rseman says:This was specifically against the agreed upon rules.

    —————————————————-

    Wrong! If this had been agreed upon it would have been collusion! Just because small market teams that do not maximize their revenue did not take advantage of the uncapped year is no reason to punsih those teams that did.

  12. mjkelly77 says: Mar 12, 2012 11:58 PM

    I guess all of the complainers are Cowboy or Redskin fans. The owners were warned but these two teams still cheated. To sign a player to a four year contract and load all of the salary into the uncapped year is unfair. You screw up with Fat Albert … that’s your bad and you should not be able to walk away from it. And the Commissioner is taking corrective action. I applaud his fairness.

  13. vaskinsfan says: Mar 12, 2012 11:59 PM

    This is the same as if you were to sign a car lease saying you could put put unlimited miles on your leased car in 2010 and then the dealership penalizing you and charging you for every mile you put on the car in 2010 because you put 50,000 miles on the car in 2010.

  14. 4onafloor says: Mar 12, 2012 11:59 PM

    “For the Redskins, who have given up three first-round picks and a second-round pick for the rights to Robert Griffin III (or, possibly, Andrew Luck) need the cap space to sign free agents.

    It necessarily will impact the Redskins’ ability to be competitive.”

    Yes it will. The Redskins mortgaged the future to trade up, nobody twisted the front office’s collective arm to do so. Both they and Dallas broke the rules by front-loading multiple contracts in an uncapped year to gain an advantage. Time to pay the piper.

  15. mrslay1 says: Mar 12, 2012 11:59 PM

    This one is BS for sure! Abuse? who decides that GODell

  16. jamiebuf12 says: Mar 13, 2012 12:00 AM

    awesome it’s about time a the cowboys and especially the redskins got their wrist’s slapped:-) as soon as jerry jones bought the cowboys he has always acted above the nfl rules with at first trying to make his own uniforms and not wanting to share the money,which was clearly against the policies the nfl had in place…
    then that year the nfl stuffed the revenue sharing plan down the league and upped the salary cap because that weasel dan snyder would have to cut half his team to be compliant with the salary cap….so the whole league had to spend more money because dan kept giving out big free agent contracts.that very year as soon as they upped the cap he went free agent crazy again and rubbed all the nfl teams noses in it………so they were warned 6 times there would be consequences and now they cry because its the first time their wrist are slapped……don’t worry skins fans i am sure snyder will figure out a way to make vincent jackson the highest paid wide receiver anyway..you can take it to the bank….and GO BILLS!!!!

  17. parasonic says: Mar 13, 2012 12:02 AM

    socialist* balance.

    there. fixed it.

    total BS* works too. punishing a team for having the cash to pay out a player in order to benefit later? if other teams had the cash flow of the cowboys or skins they’d done the same if they had the same salary situation. I mean they already have profit sharing and price ceilings and price floors. how much more does the NFL want to control their own market. just asinine.

  18. slickzmoney says: Mar 13, 2012 12:03 AM

    I found this from PFT in 2010. If this is accurate then many other teams (Vikings, Packers, Jets, Colts, Seahawks, Bears, Eagles, Pats, Giants) are also above what the cap would have been(if their was actually a cap). It was $123 mil. in 2009 and $120 in 2011.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/09/19/team-by-team-salary-cap-numbers-if-there-were-a-salary-cap/

  19. vtopa says: Mar 13, 2012 12:03 AM

    What’s with the crack on the Saints and Raiders?

  20. boogieknightsdc says: Mar 13, 2012 12:04 AM

    norseman, here is a nice little list: http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y188/thehoofbite/Untitled1-1.jpg
    By the way, the Skins already overpaid for Fat Albert and DHall before the uncapped year under Vinny Cerrato. Bruce Allen just restructured the deal because that fat gristle lump needed to just get out of Washington. I don’t really see how it is a competitive advantage for the Skins if the player didn’t actually play. Houston, Green Bay, KC, and Chicago are just as culpable as DC/Dallas. Jerry and Danny didn’t break any rules, they decided not to collude, and now are being treated like the smelly kids in the corner of the classroom. Too bad, when they stand up they make some of the other kids look like Brandon Banks.

  21. wdhart3 says: Mar 13, 2012 12:07 AM

    This is just ANOTHER example of Roger Goodell and the League looking like IDIOTS!!

    Julius Peppers 20.0 Mil(’10) 900K(’11)

  22. letmesetyoustraight says: Mar 13, 2012 12:07 AM

    I hate the Cowboys and Redskins, but this is just not fair to them or any NFL team. GODell is getting out of hand. What part of un-capped doesn’t he understand?

  23. jvaughan82 says: Mar 13, 2012 12:09 AM

    So let me get this straight. Last year the NFL owners claimed that they were no agreement to collude against the players in 2010 to keep salaries down, and now the NFL is punishing teams because it didn’t abide by the secret agreement that they said didn’t exist in the first place?

  24. mikeyhigs says: Mar 13, 2012 12:09 AM

    Smells like collusion to me. If Budweiser, Coors, and Miller decided that they wanted competitive balance, they could come together and determine what a case of beer is really worth. Or worse yet, they could set the market based on what they think I would pay. Wait a minute…what if the oil companies did this?

  25. dznutz28 says: Mar 13, 2012 12:14 AM

    Miles Austin and Julius Peppers got paid a lot of money for one year then their salaries took significant drop offs. It is the responsibility of the NFL to give each team an exact figure of how much an allowable drop off or increase is allowed for future years. The NFL approved the contracts and should have not have approved them if there was a compliance problem. Just like when Jerry signed Deion years ago, the league didn’t like it and made the 30% rule which Jerry and Deion adjusted the contract to comply with. I am sure that if Jerry or Danny would have been given some type of figure that they would have complied. The NFL approved the contracts and is just making stuff up as the go along.

  26. 49erdynasty says: Mar 13, 2012 12:23 AM

    Here’s the NFL 2010 Cap numbers from PFT

    You can see that the Cowboys & Redskins were >2 Standard deviations (21.02) above the mean of (122.54).

  27. kvanhorn87 says: Mar 13, 2012 12:28 AM

    The issue isn’t about the effect necessarily on team’s success in 2010 and 2011. The point is that they could be at an unfair competitive advantage in the years going forward since they have no ramifications for their decisions. This decision just puts them back with everyone else. I honestly don’t see a reason for all the crying. If a team signed one year players, not a big deal. But if you signed someone like miles Austin and front loaded that deal. You get his services for next 5 years for essentially no cap hit. Thus, in 2012,3,4 they have an unfair advantage. That is the reason their actions were unfair. Has little to do with those specific years. Stop crying and play on same field with everyone else who did it right. I hate to say this but kudos to Goodell who is being vilified for this specific issue unfairly.

  28. truthserum4u says: Mar 13, 2012 12:28 AM

    “contract practices of a small number of clubs during the 2010 league year created an unacceptable risk to future competitive balance, ”

    “And to the extent that the activities in 2010 gave the Cowboys or Redskins a competitive advantage, keep in mind that neither team qualified for the playoffs in 2010 or 2011.”

    Future competitive advantage is not restricted to one or two years. Besides, whether a team correctly uses those advantages is not at issue here. If someone is bad at cheating at poker and doesn’t win because of it, it doesn’t mean they didn’t cheat.

    Not saying I agree with this decision or that these team’s cheated; just saying in the eyes of the NFL it can’t matter if the advantage resulted in wins or not. Just like when teams circumvent the salary cap; the number of wins because of it are irrelevant.

  29. patswhatsup says: Mar 13, 2012 12:29 AM

    Regardless of the fact that technically the redskins and cowboys followed the rules….

    Regardless of the NFL telling clubs not to dump payroll in the uncapped year ( collusion…illegal )

    The NFL is maintaining “competitive balance” by penalizing 2 teams who basically sucked for the past 2 years….

    gotta love the NFL justification

  30. JohnnyRyde says: Mar 13, 2012 12:35 AM

    I think the reason that the league hasn’t announced anything yet is because it’s going to be darn well near impossible to put this into writing. What rule are they going to point to? What language did they actually violate?

    Is there a formula for deriving when teams overspent? Is there a formula for determining what the punishment should be?

    And for all of those people saying that this is a loophole, I think I disagree with what you mean by loophole. All 32 teams in the league agreed to a contract that put 2010 as an uncapped year if the CBA ended early. The teams made the CBA end early. Therefore 2010 was an uncapped year. If teams didn’t want 2010 to be uncapped, they should have voted against the original CBA or not quit the CBA early.

    I can see why the league hasn’t issued anything in writing yet. They will have to be incredibly careful in their language or the lawyers will eat them up. It looks like an impossible job to state all of this in writing and tie it back to something rule, when all of this is based on unwritten rules.

    Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones may be terrible owners, but they have the money and the knowhow to hire good lawyers. And any good lawyer would have an easy time going Al Davis on the league…

  31. stlpimp says: Mar 13, 2012 12:43 AM

    LMAO !! As a Rams fan, I love this because I hope the Redskins suck for the next 2 years because they can’t afford to sign anyone. Those 2 extra 1st round picks could be top 5 draft picks!! Thanks Snyder!!!!!!

  32. mschurm1 says: Mar 13, 2012 12:45 AM

    If the league warned all teams many times that there would be severe penalties for using the uncapped year to dump salaries, and two teams did it anyway, they should be penalized – period.

  33. rollteal says: Mar 13, 2012 12:53 AM

    I have to agree that this is a bit chicken crap even if I’m not a fan of either team and mildly enjoy it. If the year is UNcapped then it should be UNcapped and have no relevance on the other capped years. But if teams were warned multiple times about it then they kinda had it coming !!

  34. vbe2 says: Mar 13, 2012 12:54 AM

    And to the extent that the activities in 2010 gave the Cowboys or Redskins a competitive advantage, keep in mind that neither team qualified for the playoffs in 2010 or 2011.
    ===============================

    Their unfair manipulation of the numbers, in an attempt to circumvent the salary cap system gave them an unfair advantage and took away the possibility for some other teams to attempt to sign free agents that they (Redskins – Cowboys) did sign.

    They got caught with their hands in the cookie jar and are getting their just deserts now.

  35. switch123 says: Mar 13, 2012 1:07 AM

    This is crazy.

    Its like driving down a highway 100 mph and two years later they put up speed limit signs and want to write you a ticket now.

  36. thraiderskin says: Mar 13, 2012 1:19 AM

    I don’t see how paying haynesworth off to get rid of him provided any sort of competitive imbalance, I’m sure Danny boy’s wallet can confirm.

  37. iamhoraceknight says: Mar 13, 2012 1:27 AM

    Sounds Like Collusion …. Roger NO-Good ell is really out of control with this one

  38. mlbbal52 says: Mar 13, 2012 1:45 AM

    Why does that picture remind me of Friday where they were all like “daaaaammmmnnnn”…

  39. ICDogg says: Mar 13, 2012 2:42 AM

    The CBA puts everything related to the cap within the purview of the league, i.e. the league sets the rules and decides what is fair.

    Since the league, and no one else, gets to decide what is fair, any court will consider this an internal matter for the league.

    There is no antitrust issue because the CBA governs the matter, and it was collectively bargained and agreed to by all parties involved.

  40. jagerbmb says: Mar 13, 2012 2:49 AM

    The Management Council Executive Committee is headed by John Mora – co-owner of the Giants. Hmmm.

  41. petedutcher says: Mar 13, 2012 4:50 AM

    Funny how the Skins didn’t give consideration to other teams when they spent all that money.

    And the results of that season are not the issue. The Skins unfairly used the cap free year to clear the cap for following years. Plus, they did it KNOWING there would be penalties after being warned SIX TIMES.

    They went against the league, and now they don’t want to answer for it.

    And it wasn’t collusion. The league simply tried to maintain a balance so no one team had an edge over the others. The fact that the lockout was happening at the same time can be argued as coincidental.

    PLUS, those six warnings were mostly publicised. The players themselves tried to yell collusion at the time and failed.

    The skins can divide this amongst 2 seasons…so it is only really 18 mil per year for 2 years. Or they can push the whole thing to next year.

    AND both teams can spend now. They do not have to be under the cap until a later date.

  42. norfva says: Mar 13, 2012 4:54 AM

    I will start off by saying I am a Redskin fan and I probably have a biased view of the situation. The problem that I am having understanding with the situation is how when all of the teams in the leauge had that same opportunity to do the same thing but chose not to or did a better job of hiding it causes a competitive imbalance. Also does it not seem even more unfair that the leauge would chose to do something about it the day before free agency starts and they had no chance to plan accordingly at all. While the NFL as a sport is still fun to watch with all of the rule changes and the making up of things as they go is making it become a joke.

  43. zn0rseman says: Mar 13, 2012 5:03 AM

    bigdinla says:
    Mar 12, 2012 11:56 PM
    zn0rseman says:This was specifically against the agreed upon rules.

    —————————————————-

    Wrong! If this had been agreed upon it would have been collusion! Just because small market teams that do not maximize their revenue did not take advantage of the uncapped year is no reason to punsih those teams that did.
    —————————————————-

    Actually, it was against the agreed upon rules. Sure, I agree what they were doing was absolutely collusion, but that’s really not the point is it? They were told in absolute terms not to do something. The four owners (out of 32) decided that they were special enough to break the rules and get away with it, probably thinking their lawyers and power would scare the league office enough to keep them from enforcing any punishment.

    So it doesn’t matter if there are no legal grounds, the point is they knew the rules that everyone else was following and then cheated. All that the league is doing in this case is trying to balance things out. I like the Cowboys, and I hate the Giants, so knowing this hurts the Cowbous and helps the Giants really stinks, but I agree with it because the NFL has to be balanced and four teams broke the handshake agreement they had with the other 28 so they could unbalance things to their advantage… which is not cool.

  44. jagerbmb says: Mar 13, 2012 5:08 AM

    Me thinks Goodell will be bent over and used like a $2 ho if he pushes this issue… Doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

  45. ancyentfathoms says: Mar 13, 2012 5:47 AM

    Would love to see goodell and mara in-front of congress explaining this one.

  46. jagerbmb says: Mar 13, 2012 6:15 AM

    If the BountyGate affair is considered much worse than this… I shudder to think what will happen to the Saints, Redskins and Bills. Rams even for just hiring him.

    Can they even field a team this year?

  47. gadgetdawg says: Mar 13, 2012 6:17 AM

    This does stink to high heaven but at the same time I am not sure what can be done about it.

    The ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ was collusion but that offense was against the players and their union. It doesn’t appear that the injured party in this case is going to do anything about it. Sure, they were essentially bribed by upping the cap but so long as they stay bought, I doubt the collusion argument will go anywhere.

    Without collusion I think it comes down to the NFL essentially having the power to set caps by majority rule (with input from the NFLPA).

    I suspect both teams are going to be screwed but since IANAL I could be missing some really important aspects of this.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. . .

  48. stanklepoot says: Mar 13, 2012 6:39 AM

    thebigkahuna23 says: Mar 12, 2012 11:39 PM

    This matter is going to be resolved in court. The uncapped year was league wide. You can’t penalize a team for spending in an uncapped year. It’s like being at a buffet and getting charged extra because you’re eating more than some other person.

    I can see why Fuhrer Goodell is upset and red in the face. The teams abused a loophole. Get over it. Seriously that $20 million a year contract is getting to his head.
    ________________________________
    1. This won’t be solved in court. The owners don’t want the courts intruding into league affairs. Snyder and Jones would rather take a short term hit to their salary caps than to start that ball rolling.

    2. Fuhrer? Really? You really felt the need to compare Goodell’s work as commissioner of the NFL to all of the suffering and death brought about by Hitler? Well, at least you’re not reaching too much. smh

  49. stanklepoot says: Mar 13, 2012 6:48 AM

    vaskinsfan says: Mar 12, 2012 11:51 PM

    Couldn’t fans sue the NFL for committing fraud? The league committed fraud by approving these contracts and now penalizing not only the teams and players that will be cut to clear salary cap space but also the fans of these teams who’ve been duped into thinking their teams made legal moves. Again, this can’t be stressed enough, the NFL office APPROVED the contracts). Some fans may have made ticket puchase decisions in part thinking that their team would be more competitive with more salary cap space to improve their team with free agents.
    ________________________________
    Fans are spectators and customers, and as such have no legal authority over internal workings of the league or any individual team. Our only recourse is to simply not purchase tickets and merchandise, and use those purchases or non-purchases as leverage to force change. We can’t sue the league for fraud because we have no standing to do so. That would be like a car owner suing Ford because they don’t like the new model the company puts out. As for ticket purchases, most fans tend to think their team has a real chance of having a really good year, whether that seems highly probable or not. If fans could claim fraud every time they bought tickets and their team had a bad year, there would be no end to the court cases. Sorry, but no team guarantees a winning season when they sell tickets, therefore no fan can claim fraud. Oh, they might try to pump the fan base up and make them think it’s going to be a great year, but as long as they don’t guarantee it, there’s absolutely no claim to be made.

  50. stanklepoot says: Mar 13, 2012 6:55 AM

    mrslay1 says: Mar 12, 2012 11:59 PM

    This one is BS for sure! Abuse? who decides that GODell
    __________________________
    It never ceases to amaze me how little some people know about how the NFL actually works. The commissioner has exactly as much power as the owners let him have, and the most important decisions are made by the owners themselves when they hold their meetings. This isn’t about Goodell playing tough guy. This is about a small number of owners making a deal with the other owners, and then scrapping that deal as soon as they couldn’t be legally bound to adhere to it. Btw, for those that have asked, that is why the league let those contracts go through. When the CBA was put together, the owners who got shafted decided that the offending owners would have to pay a price for their actions. That price is apparently now about to be paid. The only part Goodell is playing in this scenario is managing the process that the owners agreed upon.

  51. madenatewell says: Mar 13, 2012 7:00 AM

    I love how sometimes the rich get poorer. They had to know that the people with DEEP pockets would both save a nickel in any way possible and spend more than anyone else.

  52. ancyentfathoms says: Mar 13, 2012 7:05 AM

    goodell: No sir there actually wasn’t a written rule per the cba in the 2010 uncapped season that either team violated.
    __

    Were the Redskins or Cowboys in violation of any rule of the cba concerning contracts in 2010?

    goodell: No.
    __

    You mean to say, nothing in written form to preclude the actions both team engaged in?

    goodell: Correct.
    __

    You even approved the restructured deals did you not?

    goodell: Yes I did.
    __

    Were these the only two teams to engage in such activity?

    goodell: No
    __

    Could any team have conducted such actions if they had so chosen to, back in 2010?

    goodell: Yes.
    __

    And were there such teams? (Green Bay, New Orleans, Chicago)

    goodell: Yes
    __

    How can you then penalize something that you not only already approved, but has no basis in fact with no written rule, postfact?

    goodell: My name is goodell.
    __

    So let me understand this: You and john mara – owner of the ny giants, likewise the chairman of nfl management council executive committee and co-chair of the nfl competition commitee, decided to steal 36 million and 10 million dollars from the Redskins and Cowboys, respectively?

    goodell: my name is goodell.
    __

    Considering that with a legitimate QB, Griffin III, the Redskins signifcantly improve their team at the most valuable position, yet in the process, they had to give up a number of 1st round draft selections, thus limiting their ability in future years to draft impactful starting level players.

    So in order to severely hamper their ability to improve the rest of their team outside of QB, in lieu of being able to draft players, you want to stimy their ability to fill the roster with talent by taking away their cap space and money, thus negagting potential (starting level) free agents?

    goodell: my name is goodell.
    __

    And that is competitive balance?

  53. stanklepoot says: Mar 13, 2012 7:06 AM

    jvaughan82 says: Mar 13, 2012 12:09 AM

    So let me get this straight. Last year the NFL owners claimed that they were no agreement to collude against the players in 2010 to keep salaries down, and now the NFL is punishing teams because it didn’t abide by the secret agreement that they said didn’t exist in the first place?
    _____________________________
    Yep, and now it should be perfectly clear why the owners were so desperate to see to it that the players’ anti-trust case never went to judgment. Their actions simply can’t be construed as anything other than collusion. As long as there is a CBA they’re safe. Without one, they’re hanging in the wind…legally speaking. That’s why when the NFLPA decertified the real showdown was whether or not the players could hold out long enough for the case to go to trial and come to a ruling. It’s also the reason the owners finally budged on a few issues after finding out that Smith had managed to secure some lockout insurance for the players. That money made the owners certain calculations that the players would completely cave less certain, and allowed the more moderate owners to include some face saving provisions for the players.

  54. Angry Orange Man says: Mar 13, 2012 7:26 AM

    It’s not about going over the cap. It is about FRONT LOADING CONTRACTS!!!

    Front loading a contract in an uncapped year lets a wealthy team give a free agent a boatload of money up front and pay him like a middling player in the years where the cap is back in place. For example, if the Giants (Superbowl Champions) wanted to placate Osi by giving him huge bonus and continuing with his regular contract afterwards that wouldn’t be fair to a team the next year that had the same issue come up.

    Its essentially giving a gigantic signing bonus that lesser teams can’t afford and it doesn’t count against the cap ever. That is why its unfair to low and mid-market teams.

    If you can’t wrap your head around that you have bigger problems than your teams salary cap issues.

  55. tundey says: Mar 13, 2012 7:38 AM

    How do you know something is shady? When the NFL can’t explain what they’ve done. When the players’ union is curiously silent on the taking away of $46 million from their players (‘cos you know the Redskins and Cowboys would have spent that money). We are talking about a union that routinely appeals when the NFL fines players *thousands* of dollars and now they are silent in the face of a $46 million fine? Smells like some shady business going on between the NFL and the players’ union.

  56. waltdawg says: Mar 13, 2012 7:45 AM

    Tell that to the Redskins!!!!! You just decided to manipulate the SKINS and take 36 million in cap space….I hope my team can find a way around this, but I fear this could stick.

  57. blackqbwhiterb says: Mar 13, 2012 7:46 AM

    The Commish approved the contracts at the time. Now he and Giants exec Mr. Mara punish 2 wealthy franchises in Mr. Mara’s team’s division…for violating an agreement which would be illegal if it existed…

  58. GG Eden says: Mar 13, 2012 7:47 AM

    Seeing as the Commissioner is essentially voted in by the 32 owners, I hope this is somehow a catalyst for an owner mutiny towards Goodell. Ousting him. Yeah he’s done some great things for the owners monetarily which is all they care about, so he’s in their good books, and he’ll probably remain commissioner for the term of all our natural lives lol, but I am always waiting and hoping for some event that happens that makes the owners suddenly fed up with him. I hope this is it.

  59. mightymightylafootball says: Mar 13, 2012 7:51 AM

    49erdynasty says:
    Mar 13, 2012 12:23 AM
    Here’s the NFL 2010 Cap numbers from PFT

    You can see that the Cowboys & Redskins were >2 Standard deviations (21.02) above the mean of (122.54).

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Yes, indeed they were.

    So?

    Nobody is questioning that the Skins n’ Boys (gross) were spending big.

    We’re questioning why those teams are being punished now for doing so, when at the time, the practice was given the thumbs up by the league office via approval of the contracts. I’ll say it again, the league approved the contracts (see the players in uniform? Can’t have that unless they have a league-approved contract. LEAGUE APPROVED)

    To Long; Didn’t Read: It’s impossibile to claim that these teams violated the “rule” (unwritten, mind you), when the league approved thier actions at the time.

    Goodell: Making it up as he goes since 2006.

  60. jjmurphy1127d says: Mar 13, 2012 8:20 AM

    “Salary Cap circumvention” (“” are there to acknowledge the uncapped year) is taken very seriously by the most recent commissioner and regime. The Broncos of the late 1990’s should be thankful that Goodell was not in charge then. These penalites plus the one the Saints will soon be getting again make Spy Gate look like a relative parking ticket and should provide context for those want to rank the issues where teams push the envelope too far to gain an advantage.

  61. realitypolice says: Mar 13, 2012 8:23 AM

    hutch119 says:
    Mar 12, 2012 11:37 PM
    This is all pretty messed up, but if it’s in the CBA that the Skins and Cowboys both agree’d to what case can they possibly make?
    =================

    Wow. People STILL asking this.

    The issue is that they did absolutely nothing outside the rules of the CBA. They were completely within their rights according to the rules.

    The only thing they did wrong was ignore coercion from the league to collude with the other teams to hold down contract values.

  62. realitypolice says: Mar 13, 2012 8:31 AM

    zn0rseman says:
    Mar 12, 2012 11:42 PM
    The thing is that they signed free agents to long term deals, front loading their contracts so the bulk of the money would be impacted in the uncapped year. This gave them a long term advantage because the players signed were signed to multi-year deals. This was specifically against the agreed upon rules.
    =====================

    Wrong. It was absolutely not against the agreed upon rules.

    It was against a verbal mandate that the league attempted to foist upon the owners that attempted to supersede the rules written in the CBA, which are the only rules that count.

    I am stunned that people are having a hard time understanding this. The league, after realizing their mistake in allowing the uncapped year, attempted to bully their franchises verbally at closed door meetings with vague threats of “consequences” if teams refused to collude with one another by agreeing to restrictions NOT present in the actual CBA.

  63. bigjimatch says: Mar 13, 2012 8:33 AM

    There will be no lawsuit if the Players’ Union is on board. Collusion hurts the players, the Skins and Boys ownership can’t sue the league for this. if they don’t like the “competitive balance” rules, they can start thier own league.

  64. traevin says: Mar 13, 2012 8:33 AM

    As others have said, Goddell is kinda like the President. He has just as much authority as a bunch of billionaires give him.

  65. realitypolice says: Mar 13, 2012 8:36 AM

    petedutcher says:
    Mar 13, 2012 4:50 AM

    And it wasn’t collusion. The league simply tried to maintain a balance so no one team had an edge over the others. The fact that the lockout was happening at the same time can be argued as coincidental.
    =====================

    You don’t understand what collusion means if you have this opinion.

  66. mrslay1 says: Mar 13, 2012 8:56 AM

    S..Poot: It never ceases to amaze me how little some people know about anything. So the Comish approved the deals and now say it was wrong and your being punished. Why now instead of then? Was this a pre-approved federal sting operation? If not this is a blatant anti-trust violotation and must be dealt with the same way. As was previously stated, Jones and Snyder will know how to deal with it.

  67. gmsalpha says: Mar 13, 2012 9:26 AM

    Spending money doesn’t make you a playoff team. In the ultimate free market American sport, just look at the Orioles and Rays. One is very competitive with barely a payroll to speak of ($41m in 2011), and one is a complete joke with a payroll more than double that ($85m).

    With that said, the Redskins are totally screwed if they are stripped of that money, especially after what they just gave up.

    Personally, the cap isn’t a big deal to me. The floor is what matters. If you’re too cheap to at least TRY to field a competitive team, you need to be forced to sell.

  68. blackfoot11 says: Mar 13, 2012 9:29 AM

    The league management is deflecting alot of the blame when they have as much culpability in this as the teams. The NFL Management Council is the group that must approve all contracts (new, modified, extension, etc.) before the agreement is considered binding. The Management Council should have told the ‘Skins and ‘Boys that they will not sign off on any of the contracts base on the “unwritten salary rules” and that they must take the cap hit on their bad deals. The teams should take a penalty, but not the full amount due to the NFL’s failed oversight.

  69. anarchopurplism says: Mar 13, 2012 9:40 AM

    The concept is fairly easy to understand: THE NFL DOES NOT WANT RICH OWNERS IN LARGE MARKETS TO BE ABLE TO OUT-SPEND THEIR MORE FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE MEMBERS IN SMALLER MARKETS.

    This is key to league-wide parity & “competitive balance.” The desire for parity goes back to Bert Bell. Pete Rozelle protected parity with the language associated with the TV deal with the networks during his reign in which the revenue was shared.

    Football is a GAME and there are some who desire to preserve the GAME and its entertaining values over winning. Having tight division races, unknown wildcard teams and close scores is good for the entire league. Parity is a part of why the NFL is so fun to watch & is “can’t miss TV” every week.

    Yes…..it is technically illegal & yes…..it is collusion.

    During the lockout, I actually considered whether the NFL should re-structure under a Corporate or maybe a Co-Op structure (all 32 owners issued equal “shares” in the NFL). They might get away with paying the players less, do league contracts as they see fit, avoid lawsuits and need for their congressional exemption.

  70. erod22 says: Mar 13, 2012 9:45 AM

    The Cowboys haven’t signed an expensive free agent in 5+ years. What “competitive balance” did they manipulate?

  71. selldannysell says: Mar 13, 2012 10:07 AM

    Only Roger Goodell could unite Skins and Cowboys fans.

  72. jbcommonsense says: Mar 13, 2012 10:08 AM

    The NFL’s position on cap violations is preposterous and apparently impossible to define using clear language. The Redskins should proceed to get needed free agents, including the best WRs and OLs available. If the NFL actually executes this ridiculous [so far unpublished] policy by serving legal paperwork, the Redskins should get an injunction, so they can continue seeking needed free agents regardless of attempted league interference.

  73. stanklepoot says: Mar 13, 2012 10:55 AM

    mrslay1 says: Mar 13, 2012 8:56 AM

    S..Poot: It never ceases to amaze me how little some people know about anything. So the Comish approved the deals and now say it was wrong and your being punished. Why now instead of then? Was this a pre-approved federal sting operation? If not this is a blatant anti-trust violotation and must be dealt with the same way. As was previously stated, Jones and Snyder will know how to deal with it.
    _____________________________
    The problem that Jones and Snyder face is that they are ownership, not labor. As such, they cannot file anti-trust complaints against their fellow owners. Only the players, as the aggrieved party (the agreement was to not pay them too much after all), can file such chargers. In this case, however, they can no longer do that. Remember, the players actually filed an anti-trust suit that had to be settled before the new CBA could go into effect. That settlement covered everything from the uncapped season and the time when there was no active CBA in place. That is what freed the other owners up to make this move. They know that, even though it demonstrates collusion, it can’t be used against them in court anymore.

    As for the league approving the deals, I’ve said it before. They did so because they couldn’t legally refuse. At the time, anti-trust litigation was a very real threat, and they couldn’t admit that such a deal existed. That also explains the timing. By the time all of this was settled, the league was already on a significantly abbreviated free agent signing and preseason schedule. there simply wasn’t time to deal with this last season.

    One final point: this isn’t Goodell’s move. That’s not opinion, that’s a matter of public record. It wasn’t the league that made the initial complaint against the Cowboys and the Redskins. It was the other owners. The owners forced the issue, leaving Goodell to manage the process they decided upon. I’m not saying Goodell hasn’t done things in the past that I disagree with, or that he hasn’t opened himself up to fair criticism in the past, but this one isn’t on him. This is on the ownership.

    Snyder and Jones don’t exactly have clean hands in this either. To begin with, they agreed with the policy before the uncapped year began, and then as soon as they could they went back on their agreement. Does that violate any official rules? No, but it’s a good way to upset people who have the power to punish you for it. Both Snyder and Jones know full well how the league really works, but neither of them thought the other owners would dare to mess with them. Whether you side with them or against them, it’s pretty clear they gambled and lost this time around.

  74. canesgiants says: Mar 13, 2012 11:09 AM

    snyder and jones deserve each other. this is the best. couldnt have happened to 2 better owners and organizations.

  75. sparky151 says: Mar 13, 2012 11:34 AM

    Snyder and Jones have ample grounds to sue. Al Davis used to sue the league all the time. The NFL likes to portray itself as a single partnership made up of 32 equal partners. The US Supreme court rejected that claim only a couple of years ago, ruling that the NFL is 32 separate businesses who basically market jointly, sort of like the way farmers market their milk or oranges or almonds jointly.

    This is a clear case of the owners of competing businesses trying to punish their competitors for actions that were not only legal but actually approved by them at the time. I doubt the NFL’s position would stand up even through a TRO hearing.

  76. radrntn says: Mar 13, 2012 11:34 AM

    NFL is a joke…you get penalized for dumping a guy like j-bust…..i can see him now , laughing about this as he toasts his purple drank to the nfl commissioner.

  77. jefftberg says: Mar 13, 2012 12:48 PM

    Absolute, unadulterated, complete, pure BULLS**T. ALL yeams were free to spend as they pleased in 2010. To punish teams after the fact for taking advantage of an obvious rules loophole is completely ridiculous. BTW, I am a fan of neither the cowboys nor the skins.

  78. jefftberg says: Mar 13, 2012 1:04 PM

    Every team with a GM worth 2 “poops” should have examined every contract to determine how long the team intended to keep each player; then converted EVERY DIME they expected to pay those players in the future into 2010 salary. One could argue that any team who did not do that should be accused of non-competitive practices by the union in court. Don’t penalize two teams for conducting smart business.

  79. GG Eden says: Mar 14, 2012 8:32 AM

    Another chapter in the ongoing saga of Goodellgate

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!