Collusion case still looms

They (I don’t know who specifically, but “they”) say bad things happen in threes.  For NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who in recent weeks has endured the embarrassment of the lockout of game officials and now the scuttling of all player discipline in the bounty case, there are two possibilities:  (1) the Mayans were right; or (2) Judge David Doty will soon issue a ruling that allows the latest collusion case against NFL to proceed.

We’re hoping that, if it’s either, it’s No. 2.

Largely forgotten via 14 weeks of NFL action is the fact that, on the day after the Cowboys and Giants kicked off the 2012 regular season, lawyers gathered in Minnesota for arguments in connection with the NFLPA’s claim that the league used an illegal salary cap in the uncapped year of 2010.  To date, there hasn’t been a ruling from Judge Doty; in theory, it could come at any time.

Though Doty wouldn’t be finding at this point that collusion occurred, his initial decision either will dismiss the claim as untimely or improper — or it will conclude that the players have the right to proceed.

In our view (and in the view of plenty of league observers), if the players proceed, they’ll win.

The fact that the Cowboys and Redskins were penalized a total of $46 million in salary-cap space for violating the spirit of the salary cap in the uncapped year strongly suggests that the league wanted to hold down player spending in the final season before the lockout.  Less money in the players’ pockets and more money in the owners’ coffers would have made it harder for the players to avoid crying “uncle” once the cash flow was cut off in 2011.

As we’ve previously opined, the case should be dismissed not on its lack of merit (since it definitely doesn’t lack merit) but because the players knew or should have known that collusion was occurring, and that they waived all potential collusion claims when signing the new labor deal in August 2011.

Still, if a third bad thing is going to happen for the Commissioner’s office, it very well could be a finding from a man with white hair that the Commissioner’s constituents have been naughty.

7 responses to “Collusion case still looms

  1. In all honesty they should get next years money back and some sort of draft pick compensation.

    I find it hilarious that Mara and the Giants still lost a game to the Redskins after docking them 15% of their available cap.

  2. I don’t see how the NFL could win the collusion case. Didn’t they approve all those contracts? Then they take cap $$ away because they didn’t honour the ‘spirit’ of a salary cap during an un-capped year?! I’m a Lions fan with no dog in this fight but I think it was a stupid move on the league’s part.

  3. There’s something that I’ve always wondered about this. Maybe it’s true that the union waived its right to pursue the collusion case when it signed the new CBA but what about players who were active (or would have liked to be active) in 2010 but retired before the deal was signed in 2011? If they were no longer represented by the union, the signing of the deal by the union should not affect their standing.

  4. Judge Doty will say that the CBA signed by both sides means the players signed away their right to sue for collusion. He will also say that when Mara and Co. decided to punish Wash/Dallas post CBA , they opened the door for the right to sue.
    Using the excuse that the players signed away their right to sue must have some time limits.

  5. Just ask any Giants fan the Redskins and Cowboys were cheating got caught….at least that’s what Mr Wright 212 has been telling me for the last 6 months.

  6. Everything about the cap penalty is suspicious. But it may have been a blessing in disguise for the Redskins, this year. It may have forced them to build a team without flashy contracts to free agents, but with young players and character.

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