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PFT rewind: Cowboys, Redskins issue was obvious in 2010

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I remembered enough about the uncapped year to remember, once hearing about rumors of cap maneuverings on Monday, that the Cowboys and Redskins were the most likely targets of any effort to rob from the rich and give to the poor.  Along with pretty much everyone else.

I’d forgotten some of the details.  Fortunately, a few of you have better memories than me.

On September 18, 2010, we explained that, in the absence of the salary cap, Dallas owner Jerry Jones and Washington owner Daniel Snyder had dumped millions into the uncapped year.  For the Cowboys, the number was $166.5 million.  For the Redskins, it was $178.2 million.

“Both teams run the risk that the new CBA will include some type of reallocation provision aimed at reversing the effects of contracts engineered to take full advantage of the uncapped year,” we wrote at the time.  “Though Jones and Snyder may regard such an outcome as unfair, two votes wouldn’t be enough to block the move.”

The problem is that the new CBA didn’t attempt to reallocate cap dollars, most likely because any effort to ding the Redskins and Cowboys for taking advantage of the rules of the uncapped year would have made the NFLPA even more convinced that the teams were indeed colluding in 2010 to hold down spending in the uncapped year.  (Indeed, the league said nothing at all about the Cowboys/Redskins issue during the uncapped year, or during the CBA discussions.)

So instead the NFL waited until 2012, when the NFLPA was “scrambling” to find a way to prevent the team-by-team salary cap from shrinking for the first time ever.  So instead of regarding the league’s proposal as the “Eureka!” moment that confirmed the existence of collusion prior to the lockout, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith apparently embraced the opportunity to avoid the challenge of explaining to the Executive Committee and the Board of Player Representatives at the upcoming annual meeting how and why the new CBA resulted in a salary cap that somehow dropped.

At the other extreme in 2010 were four teams who remained under $100 million:  the Cardinals, Jaguars, Chiefs, and Buccaneers.  If the league is so concerned that the Redskins and Cowboys skewed competitive balance by forcing too many dollars into the uncapped year, why isn’t the league equally concerned that the teams that didn’t spend contributed to any actual or perceived issues of competitive balance?

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55 Responses to “PFT rewind: Cowboys, Redskins issue was obvious in 2010”
  1. flsnupe says: Mar 13, 2012 7:52 AM

    Mike, you and Dan Graziono are the only members of the media asking these critical thinking questions. This smells out loud, and your observation about the bottom 4 teams is right on. I cannot believe that Goodell exposed the collusion the way he did. Its a 10 year deal, but you better believe this little escapade will be remembered in the next round of negotiations.

  2. natswizskincap says: Mar 13, 2012 7:52 AM

    Because they don’t play in the NFC- East!!! This won’t stand without a fight! Good luck going against Jones and Snyder. We are talking about the same Dan Snyder that sued a local news paper for comments made about him in an article!!! He basically bankrupted the Paper and now Goodell and Mara think they have the stones to fight against these two pitbulls, I think not!!!

  3. hooks024 says: Mar 13, 2012 7:55 AM

    To answer your questions about the more cost conscious teams- look at these teams, and it wasn’t the lack if spending that hurt, because even with a salary floor they were awful.

  4. jagerbmb says: Mar 13, 2012 8:00 AM

    Thank you Mr PFT

  5. Cryptkeeper says: Mar 13, 2012 8:01 AM

    I don’t understand how ppl are freaked out that the salary cap dropped. It is based on how much money the league makes (grossly put) and the whole point of the lockout was that the league had hit its premium and could not be sustained. So wasn’t this expected?

  6. natswizskincap says: Mar 13, 2012 8:07 AM

    The Skins never planned on being competitive right away but legally used the uncapped year to drop many bad contracts and load upon a few contracts so they’ll be competitive in the future. Allen and the Shanahan’s took an opportunity to fix +15 years of damage that preceded them. They won’t be competitive for a few more seasons but they’re on the right track. To penalized them for effectively playing within the rules is wrong. We should commend the teams for not colluding to hurt the players pocketbooks. I imagine both teams plan of moving forward like nothing is going to happen and push the penalty all to next season while they fight team up to put the league in its place!!! D. Smith should be fired to accepting a deal that was based in keeping his job instead of worrying about the players fight against collusion in the future!!!

  7. niquebchillin says: Mar 13, 2012 8:08 AM

    Sounds like proof of collusion to me … Yall can come up wit all the articles u want … Uncapped year is a uncapped year … Shoulda got a deal done ..

  8. crackbubba says: Mar 13, 2012 8:10 AM

    your question is invalid. not because it isnt right, but because those bottom teams had a chance at being competitive and chose not to be. my question is why a 26 million dollar difference in penalties when the infringements are only 12 million apart? is it related to dead money? or is the nfl afraid of jones?

  9. unorthodoxdoc says: Mar 13, 2012 8:11 AM

    “natswizskincap says: Mar 13, 2012 7:52 AM

    Because they don’t play in the NFC- East!!! This won’t stand without a fight! Good luck going against Jones and Snyder. We are talking about the same Dan Snyder that sued a local news paper for comments made about him in an article!!! He basically bankrupted the Paper and now Goodell and Mara think they have the stones to fight against these two pitbulls, I think not!!!”

    natswizskincap, you couldnt be more wrong. Dan Snyder ATTEMPTED to sue the Washington City Paper, and ultimately dropped his case. a quick online search shows that the paper is still maintaining and updating its content online, daily.

  10. niquebchillin says: Mar 13, 2012 8:21 AM

    I bet yall don’t give up a source for that quote “Both teams run the risk the CBA ….. ” ..

  11. natswizskincap says: Mar 13, 2012 8:28 AM

    Dan dropped the case because the publics opinion changed once it was clear his intention wasn’t to win the case but to force the paper into using up most of their resources defending itself. The paper, very small to begin with was on the brink of collapsing b/c it stood by their reporting and would back down. This isn’t commend Dan who isn’t well like in the Delmarva peninsula but to describe the lengths he is willing to go to for a victory. Is the paper still in existence? Yes. Did Danny boy drop the case? Yes. Who really won? Danny boy ultimately has the last laugh because what was a drop in the bucket for him nearly crushed a news paper so he could make a point. All that to say that Dan Snyder will fight! He may be disliked in this area but the little guy is a bull that some would characterized as a bully!

    I want to apologize to UNORTHODOXDOC for not giving him the blow by blow originally. Didn’t think all the details in that case where so important to the point being made in my comments.

  12. dirtmcgirt24 says: Mar 13, 2012 8:32 AM

    The NFL owes its success to the cap and revenue distribution. By allowing those teams to dump those deals in 2010, the spirit of the cap would be ignored, and the other 30 teams would be penalized for sticking to the rules. While other teams may have had bad deals on their books, they stuck with them. If you look at the dollar amounts those 2 teams spent in 2010, you can see why a cap is necessary – you can’t allow teams to spend 3x as much as a small city team and expect this not to turn into baseball.

    And I’m from New York.

  13. GG Eden says: Mar 13, 2012 8:34 AM

    All I know is that the NFLPA under DeMaurice Smith has been a farce, has ended up antagonizing the players across a very wide range of issues, and keeps caving in to pander to Goodell.

  14. bigginfragable says: Mar 13, 2012 8:36 AM

    At the other extreme in 2010 were four teams who remained under $100 million: the Cardinals, Jaguars, Chiefs, and Buccaneers. If the league is so concerned that the Redskins and Cowboys skewed competitive balance by forcing too many dollars into the uncapped year, why isn’t the league equally concerned that the teams that didn’t spend contributed to any actual or perceived issues of competitive balance?

    ——————————————————

    If you actually remember that season, you’ll see that both the Cowboys and the Redskins were 6-10. Of the 4 teams listed as being under $100 million, only the Cardinals were worse at 5-11. Jacksonville was 8-8. Tampa was 10-6 and missed the playoffs by 1 win, and KC led their division that year. Its not always about how much you spend, but the talent you spend it on…While many might point out that those teams didn’t have much in talent, they certainly got more out of theirs then other teams did.

  15. kcmaddog1 says: Mar 13, 2012 8:38 AM

    Another question comes to mind:

    Why is “competitive balance” so not, in MLB?

  16. GG Eden says: Mar 13, 2012 8:38 AM

    At the other extreme in 2010 were four teams who remained under $100 million: the Cardinals, Jaguars, Chiefs, and Buccaneers. If the league is so concerned that the Redskins and Cowboys skewed competitive balance by forcing too many dollars into the uncapped year, why isn’t the league equally concerned that the teams that didn’t spend contributed to any actual or perceived issues of competitive balance?

    — Very good point.

    The other thing I know btw is that Goodell is so arbitrary with everything, name the topic.

  17. mikedog44 says: Mar 13, 2012 8:48 AM

    Idiots!!!
    What part of “These teams were WARNED at least 6 times” don’t you understand???????? They were warned; Did it anyway; and got caught!!! YOu are just upset that your teams are the ones being punished. Thats what you get for loving a team whose owners think they know better than anybody else and whose ego’s are just as big

  18. philwauke says: Mar 13, 2012 8:51 AM

    I actually agree with you.

  19. onodontbescurred says: Mar 13, 2012 8:56 AM

    what about the bears and the 20ish million Julius peppers made in base salary in 2010.

  20. surfandterp says: Mar 13, 2012 9:06 AM

    Wow Goodell did something I never thought could happen. He has actually created a situation where the Washington fan base is rooting for Dan Snyder.
    He has managed to do what the Redskins marketing department hasn’t been able to accomplish in over 10 years.
    On top of that Redskins and Dallas fans are pulling for each others owners!
    Goodell’s God complex meter was just pegged into the red!

  21. sirmixalotalotalot says: Mar 13, 2012 9:07 AM

    The reality is Goodell’s office approved and signed off on every deal that took place for the Redskins and Cowboys. A player can’t fart in the wrong location without Goodell suspending them and we are supposed to believe that two of the richest and most powerful NFL franchises can structure deals this way, have the commish sign off on it, and some how pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes as to their intentions??? Give me a friggin break. Goodell just poked the wrong hornets nest and will soon enough find out what happens when you pick a fight with some of the richest, most powerful owners in the league that also happen to be his boss.

  22. savocabol1 says: Mar 13, 2012 9:07 AM

    The comments from this and the many other articles about this topic are hilarious. You people think this is doomsday, opening up pandora’s box, the fans should sue because of fraud, Cowboys and Redskins are being targeted, and this is unjust, unamerican, and unfair. You would think it is the end of the freakin world out there right now.

    Retro-actively punishing someone is nothing new. Look at the tax laws in America and you can find proof right there.

  23. tbtrojan says: Mar 13, 2012 9:10 AM

    crackbubba says: Mar 13, 2012 8:10 AM
    your question is invalid. not because it isnt right, but because those bottom teams had a chance at being competitive and chose not to be

    So the Bucs and Chiefs with 10-6 records weren’t competitive?
    8-8 like the Jags were isn’t competitive?
    The only 1 of the 4 teams that chose “not to be competitive” and didn;t finish .500 or better was the Cards.
    Oddly both teams that have been slammed with punishments for overspending finished 6-10.
    Being competitive isn;t about how much cash you spend, it’s about how wisely you have spent the cash you gave out.
    The reason the Bucs number was so low was because they decided to offload all the old, unproductive, overpaid players the previous year and rebuilt the team in the tried & tested way of get a solid core through the draft and then add the right FAs when said core is in place.
    The Pack was among the lowest spending teams just a few years back and look at them now, I saw something that said they’ve signed just one outside FA in the past 3 years.
    The Colts did it for years, as did the Steelers, Ravens, Pats (when they had real success).

  24. mhalt99 says: Mar 13, 2012 9:11 AM

    natswizskincap says:

    Wow….Dan Snyder sued a local paper….the commish who is in charge of the multi billion dollar NFL must be shaking in his custom bally loafers.

    Do you think the NFL could afford a lawyer or even a team of lawyers to take on Snyder….I mean the NFL is just a bunch of po country folk.

  25. realitypolice says: Mar 13, 2012 9:11 AM

    I understand the everyone is entitled to their opinion, and you can think what you want about what the Cowboys and Redskins did in the uncapped year.

    But the facts are clear:

    1) they did not violate the CBA

    2) there was no RULE against what they did

    2) whatever verbal “warnings” issued at league meetings were coercive attempts to enforce collusion and would certainly not stand up in court

    3) the league did not attempt to correct this imbalance in the new CBA because doing so would have proved collusion

    4) The league extorted the NFLPA into not screaming collusion by threatening to lower the cap if they did

    Again, have whatever opinion you want, whether it be based upon lack of perspective because you hate these two teams or worship the league or whatever, but don’t be confused on the facts.

    Because they could not be more clear.

  26. getyourownname says: Mar 13, 2012 9:16 AM

    unorthodoxdoc says:

    natswizskincap, you couldnt be more wrong. Dan Snyder ATTEMPTED to sue the Washington City Paper, and ultimately dropped his case. a quick online search shows that the paper is still maintaining and updating its content online, daily.

    **********************
    No, he DID sue the paper – in fact he sued twice, once in New York (in an attempt to get a more favorable venue), then he withdrew that suit and re-filed in DC. Ultimately he withdrew his lawsuit before it went to trial – he says because he accoomplished his purpose, but in reality because his case was about to be tossed by the court – which still forced the paper to incur legal costs defending a completely baseless lawsuit – but he did sue. You’re right that the paper is still operating.

    Remember this is the person whose organization bascially conned an old lady into renewing tickets she could not afford, then sued her for payment.

    He might sue over this cap issue, as long as he doesn’t think his personal standing among the owners will be hurt – Snyder is nothing if not a petty bully, without morals, worried only about his personal PR.

  27. savocabol1 says: Mar 13, 2012 9:18 AM

    natswizskincap says:
    Mar 13, 2012 8:28 AM
    Dan dropped the case because the publics opinion changed once it was clear his intention wasn’t to win the case but to force the paper into using up most of their resources defending itself. The paper, very small to begin with was on the brink of collapsing b/c it stood by their reporting and would back down. This isn’t commend Dan who isn’t well like in the Delmarva peninsula but to describe the lengths he is willing to go to for a victory. Is the paper still in existence? Yes. Did Danny boy drop the case? Yes. Who really won? Danny boy ultimately has the last laugh because what was a drop in the bucket for him nearly crushed a news paper so he could make a point. All that to say that Dan Snyder will fight! He may be disliked in this area but the little guy is a bull that some would characterized as a bully!

    I want to apologize to UNORTHODOXDOC for not giving him the blow by blow originally. Didn’t think all the details in that case where so important to the point being made in my comments.

    ___________________________________

    Your follow up rant just proves your first rant was wrong. Your points of Dan Synder bankrupting and putting a newspaper out of business was dead wrong. Good Job!

  28. moagecu says: Mar 13, 2012 9:21 AM

    niquebchillin says:
    Mar 13, 2012 8:21 AM
    I bet yall don’t give up a source for that quote “Both teams run the risk the CBA ….. ” ..

    If you read the article fully you would see that a few words later he says “we wrote at the time”.

    He is clearly quoting himself.

  29. wwmsgrr says: Mar 13, 2012 9:23 AM

    whats going to be great is when it becomes clear that the 28 (or so) other teams were actually guilty of not only cheating but committing antitrust Crimes. i hope the same people that are calling the redskins and cowgirls (and others mentioned) cheaters come back when its time to eat their crow.

  30. clintonportisheadd says: Mar 13, 2012 9:25 AM

    Its OBVIOUS what happened. There was a “nudge nudge wink wink” deal among the owners to make the uncapped year a certain number. Collusion if you will…

    Jones and Snyder broke a deal that only the owners knew about and are being punished by those same owners.

    Of course the irony is even with the “competitive advantage” they had both teams still suck.

  31. rg3isvictory says: Mar 13, 2012 9:33 AM

    Natswizskincap is correct that Snyder tried to sue the paper on with the intention of bankrupting them. He only dropped the case when the public sentiment was very much against him. The Paper is still around but you’d be lying if you said Dan Snyders action didn’t hurt the paper. I very excited to see his energy and personality put to good use. Add to this that Jones will likely team up with him and I’m not sure the NFL has two stronger personalities. It will be interesting to watch this play out and see how long these two rivals can team up and put the other owners on their heels. Popcorn anybody?

  32. rbiggs25 says: Mar 13, 2012 9:37 AM

    Mike can you please post the contracts of…Gregg Jennings, Nick Collins, Ryan Pickett, Julius Peppers, Tyson Jackson, Matt Schaub and there are more i am not thinking of. Other teams did this. The players i posted teams made the playoffs. Can you als post what options the Redskins/Cowboys can do about this? Can they sue, Can they play only there 8 home games? If this is how the nfl is run i will not watch, Buy a jersey or buy the sunday ticket for the time being.

  33. gweez76 says: Mar 13, 2012 9:40 AM

    mikedog44 says:
    Mar 13, 2012 8:48 AM
    Idiots!!!
    What part of “These teams were WARNED at least 6 times” don’t you understand???????? They were warned; Did it anyway; and got caught!!! YOu are just upset that your teams are the ones being punished. Thats what you get for loving a team whose owners think they know better than anybody else and whose ego’s are just as big

     ——————-

    The Redskins are part of the league but also an Independant corporation. The cap rules are governed by the CBS and in conjunction with the NFLPA.

    So the cops can’t get together and decide on a speed limit on their own. Then give you a ticket 2 years later for going 35 in what is now a 25.

  34. realitypolice says: Mar 13, 2012 9:41 AM

    mikedog44 says:
    Mar 13, 2012 8:48 AM
    Idiots!!!
    What part of “These teams were WARNED at least 6 times” don’t you understand???????? They were warned; Did it anyway; and got caught!!! YOu are just upset that your teams are the ones being punished. Thats what you get for loving a team whose owners think they know better than anybody else and whose ego’s are just as big
    =========================

    You can’t warn someone not to violate a rule that doesn’t exist- I don’t care if you do it a hundred times.

    What part of “the league telling teams not to spend money when the CBA says the can is illegal collusion” don’t YOU understand?

    That’s like a defendant accused of shooting someone standing up in court and saying “I had to shoot him. I warned him SIX TIMES not to try and stop me from stealing his watch and he did anyway”.

  35. realitypolice says: Mar 13, 2012 9:44 AM

    savocabol1 :

    I actually hadn’t seen anyone say it was “doomsday” or the “end of the world”. If you don’t think people are entitled to their opinion about a league action that could have a huge effect on the upcoming season, why are you here exactly?

  36. hrudey says: Mar 13, 2012 9:59 AM

    If they had merely front-loaded the contracts, that’s fine. If they had spent huge signing bonuses and treated them as every other team did, that would have been fine. But what the Redskins did was specifically designed to circumvent any future cap rules and to circumvent the 30% rule that was put in place to ensure teams didn’t try to pile up salary in the uncapped year.

    The anatomy of the circumvention is that they offered a huge signing bonus to the player (e.g., $24M+ to Haynesworth). They added a provision that said that if the player refunds the bonus, they can void the remaining years of their contract. Because of this accounting gimmick, the signing bonus can’t be spread out over the length of the contract and has to apply immediately to the current year. This was legitimately used before in Tampa for example to chew up existing salary cap space. But in Washington, it was a deliberate move to ensure that they could move money that was already being allocated to future years and instead consolidate it in an uncapped year.

    There’s an article on football outsiders from 2010 that goes into even more detail on the maneuver. What the league is doing is, essentially, undoing the gimmick that they warned teams not to use and making sure that those moneys are properly allocated to the capped league years. Since the CBA appears to give the league the power to audit contracts and salary cap issues and since these moves appear to require NFL and NFLPA agreement, I’m not sure how the Cowboys/Redskins can proceed, but I’m not a lawyer so I’ll leave that sort of speculation to those who are qualified. I do imagine that there’s sort of an implied threat from the league here, though — if the Cowboys/Skins do fight it, the league can surely come back and execute their right to take away draft picks for circumvention and add that into the fight.

  37. jbcommonsense says: Mar 13, 2012 10:17 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…

  38. thatsgoingtoleaveademarco says: Mar 13, 2012 10:17 AM

    Every rookie deal was dumping exorbitant guaranteed salary or roster bonus into 2010. It was common knowledge that 2010 would be uncapped and many contracts were structured as such. Roster bonuses were favored over signing bonuses on a number of contracts.

    The bigger issue is the dead money that went away from a multitude of teams books in 2010. Those bad contracts are harming the Cowboys in both 2011 and 2012. But for the teams that made the 2010 season and postseason January 2011 cuts….poof all of the accelerated bonus is gone and it has changed the competitive balance for the league. The Cowboys have BY FAR the most dead money because they did not get rid of the bad contracts during the uncapped year.

  39. pastorbobs says: Mar 13, 2012 10:28 AM

    Thanks for the article. This penalty stinks to high heaven, and if the Redskins want to battle this in court it is likely the NFL and NFLPA would lose.

    The NFLPA is about getting more money to the players, so it is hard to imagine allowing a penalty to a team that paid players too much.

    As for Roger and the rest of the owners, to vote on a penalty that hurts the Redskins while helping themselves is a conflict of interest. Owners have to realize that they wanted a lockout, an uncapped year was one of the fall-outs of their desire, and they have to accept the consequences of that action. To try to enforce rules that didn’t exist by retroactively enforcing them to their benefit just won’t hold water in court.

  40. mattypic22 says: Mar 13, 2012 10:31 AM

    Why are the bears not being punished for front loading Peppers contract the same year?

  41. erod22 says: Mar 13, 2012 10:40 AM

    This is the same man who gave NY a Super Bowl that might take place in a blizzard. Selective rule enforcement, collusion, concussion overreaction, anti-defense rule enhancements, God complex………these define Goodell. The league will incredibly crash and burn as a result of him.

  42. unorthodoxdoc says: Mar 13, 2012 10:42 AM

    @natswizskincap:

    i humbly disagree. i dont think snyder won at all. in fact, it showed how the “little guy” triumphed, despite being bullied by a pompous billionaire who had his feelings hurt. his case was in danger of being tossed based on no merit. the public outcry was mounting against him, how exactly did he win? both the court, and public knew he was wrong. so, the paper had to pay lawyers? newsflash, most (if not all) papers have a legal team on retainer just in case something like this pops up. after all, papers have to worry about a thing called being libel for the written word of their reporters. if not for anything, the fact that david slayed goliath not only in the court of public opinion, but would have won in court as well, most likely brought a tiny paper into the national spotlight. in the end, he very well may have brought more the paper more readership, ad-space revenue etc etc…..you get the picture.

  43. savocabol1 says: Mar 13, 2012 10:46 AM

    realitypolice says:
    Mar 13, 2012 9:44 AM
    savocabol1 :

    I actually hadn’t seen anyone say it was “doomsday” or the “end of the world”. If you don’t think people are entitled to their opinion about a league action that could have a huge effect on the upcoming season, why are you here exactly?

    ________________________________

    Read more articles than just PFT and you can see comments as such. I am here to give my opinion that I think it is funny all of these people are acting like this is going to cripple the Redskins and Cowboys. I never once said that people shouldn’t be having those comments.

    But I do thank you for opening your mouth and inserting your foot!

  44. rg3isvictory says: Mar 13, 2012 10:50 AM

    Why do people continue to discuss the rules as if they applied to any team during an uncapped year? The only rule broken was the secret hand shake by all the Owners to collude. Teams that didn’t free up space did so in an attempt to collude. Then bribed the NFLPA recently to go along with this farce. I agree that this is Dan Snyders chance to gain the support of the fan base by fighting this!!! This might be Dans best years as an owner! Wont be hard to surpass the last 15 but he might finally get some love!!!

  45. nagaswan says: Mar 13, 2012 10:53 AM

    The Redskins have Dan Snyder for an owner. There are no rules to be broken that can tip the competitive advantage scale towards that team.

  46. gurnblanstonreturns says: Mar 13, 2012 11:02 AM

    Whoa, Nellie! Nothing like a good, old-fashioned anti-trust fight to upset Goodell’s hard won decade of labor peace.

    As a Redskins fan, my bias in favor of the Redskins is obvious, but does not change the situation. Realitypolice has set forth the facts very clearly. Anyone in need of a refresher course in antitrust issues as they pertain to matters between the owners (as opposed to matters between owners and labor) need only review the Ninth Circuit’s decision upholding the Raiders judgment against the league regarding franchise movement from the early ’80s.

    This overreach by Goodell, clearly backed by small-market franchises, including the sacrosanct families such as the Rooneys and Maras, is designed to offset the consequences of the owners’ actions in the labor negotiations of the current CBA. (It surely can be no coincidence that a Mara chairs the relevant committee addressing this issue.) The owners decided to force an early termination of the CBA with the resultant “uncapped” year in their determination to obtain better terms from the players in the next CBA. This tactic proved a smashing success.

    Unfortunately for the small-market franchises, an “uncapped” year presented an opportunity to franchises such as the Redskins and Cowboys to address untenable and damaging cap positions. In an effort to subvert the labor negotiations and tilt the process further in their advantage, many owners apparently devised a system of collusion that could be denied publicly and leave no papertrail. By giving multiple “warnings” to some owners that the illegal, unofficial policy of collusion would be enforced after the players had been pressured into accepting the owners’ demands, the owners acted in the classic fashion of a cartel as understood under antitrust law.

    The small market franchises have benefitted for years under the socialist tenets of the league’s structure to ensure their ability to compete against wealthier franchises. In fact, these franchises have been so successful in using superior football-related organizations that they have enjoyed tremendous on-field success while the Redskins and Cowboys have endured many years of failure.

    Owners such as Snyder and Jones have cooperated with this regime, while chafing at some of its revenue-sharing aspects, in the apparent belief that the NFL’s ultimate success depends upon this unique, socialist structure to avoid the fate of MLB. By poking this hornet’s nest, the owners and Goodell risk this arrangement.

    If the league insists upon this punitive enforcement of an illegal collusion to dampen player salaries in the uncapped year, then Snyder and Jones should follow Al Davis’ example and bring an anti-trust suit against the league.

    With the facts in their favor, they could very easily force the league’s capitulation in the face of the destruction of the “house of cards” which is the NFL under anti-trust law.

    Snyder and Jones should make clear that their forebearance in underwriting the success of the Maras, Rooneys and “stockholders” of Green Bay (and the Super Bowl championships those teams have enjoyed since the mid-90s) is at an end.

    If the benefactors of the socialist structure want to assert that they have the right to enforce collusion in the uncapped year, they should be put on notice that Snyder and Jones are willing, and perhaps even anxious, to reverse years of futility by two of the league’s proudest franchises by ushering in a new era of professional football – an era characterized by the survival of the fittest as the Redskins and Cowboys become the NFL’s Red Sox and Yankees. Many Redskins and Cowboys fans could comfort themselves about the dissolution of the “old” NFL by warming themselves in the glow of Red Sox- and Yankee-like rings and trophies.

    Hopefully, those who have benefitted so greatly by the socialist structure of the NFL and its one great foray into capitalist hardball (forcing the uncapped year and early termination of the CBA) will recognize the fool-hardiness of seeking to further their advantage by punishing their benefactors for exercising their rights in the uncapped year. Hail!

  47. crp63 says: Mar 13, 2012 11:03 AM

    jbcommonsense says:Mar 13, 2012 10:17 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…

    They can use the following 2 years to ” repay” the 36 million anyway they see fit.Defer it all untill next year and submit it to the league with a note that says “See you in court”

  48. channel124 says: Mar 13, 2012 11:03 AM

    Great recap here –

    http://www.examiner.com/sports-business-in-washington-dc/redskins-rightly-repel-goodell-s-meritless-cap-sandbag-on-eve-of-free-agency

    I called the league office and politely voiced my disgust. All fans should be angry – this is mickey mouse stuff and can happen to you too. Unless of course your owner pockets the money and rarely spends it on his team.

    (212) 450-2000 and ask for comment line.

  49. digirootune says: Mar 13, 2012 11:07 AM

    Skins/Boys unite!!! HTTR

    Wait..what the hell did I just type?

  50. rg3isvictory says: Mar 13, 2012 11:17 AM

    @ UNORTHODOXDOC

    I don’t know if you live in the area or not but that could play a part as to why we see it so differently. Ultimately radio and other media outlets got involved to help put pressure on Danny boy. This wasn’t a question of merit but rather could David out last Goliath. Things seemed bleak about the papers financial ability to wait out a the case being thrown out. These concerns we spoken publically in local radio and other outlets. This helped mount enough pressure to get Danny Boy to back off. This conversation is besides the point. It was about showing the lengths that the Snyder can be megalomaniacal instead of simply asking for a retraction or ignoring it all together. For better or worse, normally worse, he goes over the top most times. This is one of few times when his personality may suit him and the fan base. He could win over the fan base for the first time if he digs his feet in and fights for the what’s right!!! The combo of Jones and Snyder together make the odds of a victory look greater.

  51. tmkelley1 says: Mar 13, 2012 11:55 AM

    Total hypocrisy from the NFL, as usual. If the year was uncapped, then it was uncapped, and that’s that. But the NFL has to control everything, and doing so ex post facto is just wrong. I guess the league will have to void all those victories and titles the ‘Skins won during that time, huh? That Haynesworth thing really worked out, too, didn’t it? The league is piling on, and that’s a penalty for unnecessary roughness. Why did the league approve the contracts if they violated some unwritten policy? If there’s any malfeasance here, it’s the NFL’s dereliction of duty.

  52. rg3isvictory says: Mar 13, 2012 12:01 PM

    savocabol1 says:

    Your follow up rant just proves your first rant was wrong. Your points of Dan Synder bankrupting and putting a newspaper out of business was dead wrong. Good Job!
    ________________________________________________

    What I said was “basically” bankrupted the paper. A more appropriate word could have been “virtually”. The point was that he was attempting to hurt them financially, not that he put them out of business. If I made you think otherwise I appologize. Going bankrupt isn’t the same as going out business and itrust assumes we all understood the difference. But I never mentioned him putting them out of business so I disagree with being “DEAD WRONG” as you put it. I will work harder at being clearer for everybody. God knows the papers current fiscal position makes all the difference in the comments of this article.

  53. unorthodoxdoc says: Mar 13, 2012 12:41 PM

    rg3isvictory:

    hmm, wasnt savocabol1’s above, quoted comment in your 12:01PM post directed towards natswizskincap and not you? yes, indeed it was. please tell me you arent stooping to the level of creating and using multiple handles to support your own opinion.

  54. stevecmh says: Mar 13, 2012 6:03 PM

    @realitypolice

    Thanks for summarizing the facts of this situation perfectly.

  55. kingufr says: Mar 13, 2012 8:27 PM

    What about the free agents from the uncapped year? If the league colluded and is now admitting it, they can sue and be awarded treble damages.

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