In 2012, the NFL took $36 million in cap space away from the Redskins for treating the uncapped year of 2010 too literally. The league spread the penalty over two years, taking $18 million from Washington in 2012 and another $18 million in 2013.
Despite the penalties, the team still had $1.3 million in remaining 2013 cap space. Under the current labor contract, that money can be carried over, no questions asked.
According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the Redskins opted not to carry over the $1.3 million in cap space.
That’s right. The team owned by a man many believed would spend like the Yankees if there was no salary cap elected to forego the ability to expand this year’s spending limit by $1.3 million.
There’s no logical reason for it. Unused cap space can now be carried over year to year automatically, with none of the games teams used to have to play to push cap space artificially from one year to the next.
The only plausible explanation, other than negligence, is spite. Still miffed that the league unfairly took away $36 million in cap space, the Redskins essentially said to the league (and to the union, which agreed to the cap penalties), “No thanks. We’ll manage without the extra $1.3 million. After all, we managed with $18 million less in each of the last two years.”
It’s still odd that any team wouldn’t carry over every dollar. It costs nothing, and it doesn’t count toward the current 89-percent spending requirement on a four-year rolling average.
Per Pelissero, the Rams chose not to carry over $172,000, and the Giants chose to pass on $17,000. That’s nothing compared to the decision to not retain the ability to spend an extra $1.3 million.