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Judge Doty denies NFLPA attempt to claim collusion

DavidDotyGetty Getty Images

The day after the 2012 NFL regular season ended, Judge David Doty convened a hearing on the question of whether the NFLPA should be able to pursue a collusion claim arising from the salary-cap penalties imposed in March on the Cowboys and the Redskins.  The day after the 2012 NFL regular season ended, Judge Doty issued a decision.

In short, the NFL removed a total of $46 million in cap space from the two teams for treating the uncapped year of 2010 as, well, uncapped.  The NFLPA, despite agreeing to the cap penalties in exchange for an agreement by the league to artificially increase the 2012 salary cap to a level north of the 2011 number, claimed that comments made in the aftermath of the announcement of the cap penalties disclosed for the first time that shenanigans were occurring in 2010.

The NFL argued that any potential claim for collusion was barred by the simple fact that the parties agreed in 2011 to end all litigation when finalizing a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Judge Doty agreed, finding that “the NFLPA released the claims it attempts to assert in the underlying action.”

As a result, the settlement agreement won’t be reopened, and the NFLPA won’t be able to pursue upwards of $1 billion in damages from the NFL.

While the union may now appeal the outcome, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has a reputation for being conservative and, thus, pro-business.  Which makes it highly unlikely that Judge Doty’s decision would be overturned.

Indeed, most judges regardless of politics prefer to see settled cases remain settled.  In this case, the NFL and the NFLPA resolved their differences, including any claim that there was collusion in 2010 regarding the uncapped year that, based on the penalties imposed on the Cowboys and Redskins, wasn’t really uncapped.

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24 Responses to “Judge Doty denies NFLPA attempt to claim collusion”
  1. scytherius says: Dec 31, 2012 11:56 AM

    Easy judicial call.

  2. itsnotforme says: Dec 31, 2012 11:57 AM

    about time

  3. karlton3 says: Dec 31, 2012 12:02 PM

    You know the NFLPA’s case was frivolous when even Doty can’t find a way to give them what they want.

  4. logicalvoicesays says: Dec 31, 2012 12:02 PM

    Redskins NFC East Champions. Eat that crow Mara.

  5. denverdude7 says: Dec 31, 2012 12:09 PM

    The owners really stuck it to the union but good in this contract didn’t they?

    This is very similiar to the recent financial settlements. Yeah, we broke the law but here’s a little cash so long as nobody goes to jail.

    WTF were the union leaders thinking when they signed off on this?

    Oh wait, I remember now, the payment was late on the Bentely so we had to settle.

  6. gtodriver says: Dec 31, 2012 12:11 PM

    The NFLPA wasted their time and the players dues money by filing this lawsuit after previously agreeing (by the terms of the CBA) that there would be no further litigation.

    Once again, Jerry Kessler picks the pockets of the NFLPA.

  7. burgundyandgold says: Dec 31, 2012 12:12 PM

    Mara’s end around in an attempt to stop the Redskins from getting RGIII or Luck did not work. His team is out of the playoffs while the Redskins won the division. With or without that 18 million in cap money the Skins took the division. Too bad for him he could not prevent the Redskins from drafting Alfred Morris and RGIII. Too bad he could not stop the Shanahan’s from building a team of lunch pail workers who worked together to become greater than the sum of their parts. Too bad Mara, enjoy the offseason. Karma, it is a…

  8. Panda Claus says: Dec 31, 2012 12:15 PM

    Oh it was collusion alright, but the NFLPA bargained away their legal claims. The next step might require Jones and Snyder to push for a legal resolution, but with “only” $10M at stake, that pot is too small for Jones to bother with.

    It still amazes me that a multi-billion dollar corporation can yet again get away with a crime like this. Oh wait, no it doesn’t surprise me at all. This is the dark side of “The American Way”.

  9. lakermetskins says: Dec 31, 2012 12:43 PM

    As a US citizen, i’ll abide by the decisions made by our court system.

    O.J. was not guilty of double-homicide.

    Casey Anthony knew nothing about her daughter’s disappearance and death.

    The NFL did not collude to hold down salaries in 2010- even if the players union agreed just get get the season started on time that year. Therefor the skins and cowboys must be subjected to a 46 million dollar penalty from an illegal, non-binding agreement.

    It was okay to collude “this time” because 30 owners agreed and 2 decided to do what was on paper to explore an uncapped year.

    America the beautiful.

  10. eaglebobby says: Dec 31, 2012 12:51 PM

    I’m no Giants fan, “burgandyandgold”, but I’m pretty sure the Giants are sleeping easy with the 2 Lombardis in 5 years that they’ve won while it has taken the Skins 13 years to win the division–and their playoff stay will be short. In fact, if they don’t change the offense, RGIIIs career will be short. QBs can’t run too well on bad wheels.

  11. mikea311 says: Dec 31, 2012 1:07 PM

    Redskins NFC East Champions. Eat that crow Mara.

    ————-

    yawn. wake me up when that means anything.

    RG3 is very good but until he actually brings home the prize he’s just another gimmick who cant make it through a season.

  12. cwwgk says: Dec 31, 2012 1:14 PM

    About time someone forced the NFLPA to abide by the terms of a contract to which the union agreed.

  13. burgundyandgold says: Dec 31, 2012 1:28 PM

    and we are sleeping easy with our three – how many do the eagles have again?

  14. bsizzle80 says: Dec 31, 2012 1:41 PM

    eaglebobby says:Dec 31, 2012 12:51 PM

    I’m no Giants fan, “burgandyandgold”, but I’m pretty sure the Giants are sleeping easy with the 2 Lombardis in 5 years that they’ve won while it has taken the Skins 13 years to win the division–and their playoff stay will be short. In fact, if they don’t change the offense, RGIIIs career will be short. QBs can’t run too well on bad wheels.
    __________________________________

    Any Eagle fan referencing “Lombardi’s” in an argument is pretty ironic and entertaining. If that is the jist of your argument, your Eagles rank right up there with the Cardinals and Lions.

    I’m sure the Redskins are sleeping better than Mr. Lurie, Eagle fan, with the 3 Lombardi’s they’ve won, even though it was a while back, it’s better than NEVER!

  15. spartan822 says: Dec 31, 2012 1:47 PM

    This was an easy, obvious ruling and I’m not sure why it took so long.

    And I still have no problem with the penalties on the Redskins and Cowboys, although to be fair there are a few other teams that should have also been penalized. Frankly I don’t care if there was collusion or whatever you want to call it because something needed to be done about out of control player salaries. That’s one of the big reasons a ton of fans can no longer afford buy tickets or merchandise very often.

  16. kingcarlbanks says: Dec 31, 2012 1:53 PM

    I am a Giants fan, and let me give congratulations to the Redskins for rising from the basement to win the division. Let me say that what Mara did was kind if underhanded in my book. An uncapped season means uncapped. So what the Skins and Cowboys did was perfectly within bounds. We will see how it affects these teams down the road..

  17. CKL says: Dec 31, 2012 1:56 PM

    Panda Claus says:
    Dec 31, 2012 12:15 PM
    Oh it was collusion alright, but the NFLPA bargained away their legal claims. The next step might require Jones and Snyder to push for a legal resolution, but with “only” $10M at stake, that pot is too small for Jones to bother with.

    It still amazes me that a multi-billion dollar corporation can yet again get away with a crime like this. Oh wait, no it doesn’t surprise me at all. This is the dark side of “The American Way”.
    _________________________________
    Your first sentence negates the rest of your point, Both parties agreed to a contract and that provision fell within its scope. So even though it was a loophole, tough beans. That’s why people hire professionals to negotiate for them, so they are protected. Maybe the NFLPA should be suing Kessler et al instead?

    I wonder if the NFLPA was like congress and had to pass the CBA before they could see what was in it? The way the challenge/drag their feet over every single thing, one wonders.

  18. anarchopurplism says: Dec 31, 2012 2:08 PM

    Anyone else notice that of 32 teams, only 2 of the most egomaniacal, win-starved owners violated the unmentionable agreement to pay off long term contracts during the uncapped year?

    You cannot fight a 2 front war! Ownership had their horns locked with Union……Cowboys & Skins deserved to get their hands slapped.

    If Mara had done this……Skins fans would have been livid!

  19. anarchopurplism says: Dec 31, 2012 2:09 PM

    By the way……$1 billion in damages?

    Good grief.

    How about the players go eat their houses?

  20. ishallcomment says: Dec 31, 2012 2:14 PM

    Why are the courts of our gov constantly being nagged by the NFLPA?

    They need to get De Smith his own office for continence.

  21. kenorv says: Dec 31, 2012 2:40 PM

    Just more evidence that the NFLPA got punked by the NFL in the last CBA. I can’t believe D. Smith still has a job.

  22. steelpalace302 says: Jan 1, 2013 1:17 AM

    anarchopurplism says: Dec 31, 2012 2:08 PM

    Anyone else notice that of 32 teams, only 2 of the most egomaniacal, win-starved owners violated the unmentionable agreement to pay off long term contracts during the uncapped year?

    Before you post you might want to do some homework. Go look at Peppers contract with the bears and there are about 30 others from about 20 teams.

  23. steelpalace302 says: Jan 1, 2013 1:21 AM

    The facts are the bears and the rest of the teams got away with it and Mara went after the Cowboys and skins. I wonder why ?

  24. blspears says: Jan 1, 2013 8:58 AM

    That was total collusion.

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