The Cowboys and Redskins are faced with the combined loss of $46 million in salary cap space over the next two years for treating the term “uncapped year” too literally two years ago. And their fans want to know if the teams will be fighting the NFL on this point.
The answer is, “Maybe.”
A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the Cowboys and Redskins are exploring all options for challenging the decision.
That means a lawsuit could be coming. But while the late Al Davis wouldn’t have blinked before loading the legal cannon, Redskins owner Dan Snyder and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones could be influenced by consideration of the big picture.
Suing over what essentially was a refusal to engage in collusion would confirm that the NFL was indeed engaged in collusion in the months preceding the 2011 lockout. The idea was, apparently, to keep more money in the pockets of the owners and out of the pockets of the players, in advance of the possibility of a full season without football. Arguing that the NFL has now punished the Redskins and Cowboys for breaking ranks necessarily would expose that strategy.
And with the league and the NFLPA likely to, at some point, be engaged in contentious labor negotiations again, disclosing past instances of collusion could make it harder to employ the same tactics in the future.
More importantly, the Redskins and Cowboys would be accusing their partners of corrupt, improper business practices. With the intense coverage that the NFL now enjoys, a legal fight featuring two arch rivals coming together and suing the entire league for meting out punishment for refusing to participate in inappropriate business practices against the players would attract much unwanted attention for the NFL.
No decisions have been made as to whether a lawsuit or some other tactic will be pursued. But for now the Redskins and Cowboys aren’t willing to simply shrug their shoulders and take it.