Redskins still upset about cap penalties, but what can they do?

Getty Images

Last year, the NFL stripped a total of $46 million in cap space from the Cowboys and Redskins because they treated the uncapped year of 2010 too literally.  With half of the penalty applying to 2012 and the other half to 2013, the situation is creating renewed rancor for the Redskins as the new league year approaches.

And for good reason.  The Redskins lost $18 million in cap space last season, and they’re losing another $18 million in 2013.  That’s roughly 15 percent of every dollar the Redskins otherwise have to spend.

As one league source explained it, the Redskins remain extremely upset about the situation, strongly believing they did nothing wrong.  In our view, they’re right.  Each and every player contract that supposedly violated the “spirit of the salary cap” was approved by the league in 2010 and complied with the rules that were on the books.

Of course, the contracts were approved because failure to do so would have flagged for the NFLPA the fact that collusion was occurring.

That continues to be the bottom line.  The teams were colluding in the uncapped year, and the Cowboys and Redskins were punished for refusing to go along with the plan.  The league wisely kept the situation under wraps until the ink was dry on the new labor deal, which prevented the players from suing for collusion.

The Redskins, in theory, could still sue.  An unsuccessful effort was made under the CBA to challenge the penalties after they were issued, but the Redskins have stopped short of filing an antitrust lawsuit against the league and the other franchises.

That approach would create a major mess for the NFL and for its teams.  Apart from the obvious discomfort arising from one member of the league suing every other team (except the Cowboys), the airing of dirty laundry could attract the attention of folks in Congress or the Justice Department.  The unintended consequences could culminate in an attack by politicians on the NFL’s holy grail of antitrust immunity — the TV broadcast exemption.

So there’s nothing that the Redskins can do about this, especially if the goal is to get their $18 million back before March 12.That said, the Redskins could draw up the paperwork for litigation and demand a meeting with the Commissioner and the members of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee and explain during that meeting what will happen in court if the cap dollars aren’t immediately restored.  Unless, however, the Redskins are ready to proceed if their bluff is called, that would be a waste of time and effort and money.So their best investment of time at this point would consist of an effort to make the most out of their remaining cap money for 2013.  It doesn’t mean the Redskins weren’t screwed, but unless they’re willing to pull the pin on the litigation grenade, their best bet will be to move on.

64 responses to “Redskins still upset about cap penalties, but what can they do?

  1. I wish they would just take their football & go home until the league gives it back… If the Skins are on your schedule… It’s a win, see you next week… Then we will see if the 18 million cap is worth the DC market TV revenue.

  2. Little Danny won’t sue the NFL. He only sues little old ladies who got pressured into buying season tickets they can’t afford. In other words, people he thinks he can bully.

    Plus, he wants to a part of the “in crowd” among owners. Never happen, but he wants it SOOO bad, and suing the other owners wouldn’t help.

  3. What can they do? Slap Snyder around and tell him you can’t win a Super Bowl in free agency with ridiculous contracts. Opps better watch what I say, he may sue me!

  4. As a Redskins fan, I have to say I am actually not that bent out of shape to not be able to see another off season filled with Dan Snyder flushing money down the free agency toilet. While entertaining, and of great comedic value, seeing fat dbags like Albert Haynesworth get 100 million dollars to literally fall asleep on the field while watching Michael Vick run around like hes playing Super Tecmo Bowl is kinda annoying.

    My two cents.

  5. I am not a fan of Washington or Dallas and I love to see them suffer. But I question this move against both teams and wonder what Czar Goody got in return for screwing them both. I know he is behind this in some way, shape, manner, or form. Why the owners continue to keep him employed is beyond me.

  6. Packers fan here– while I have no love lost for Danny or Jerrah, I clearly see their point— and wonder how the NFL punishing them cannot be used in court as proof of collusion? At least for the other 30….

  7. Where is Al Davis when you need him? The NFL would NEVER have challenged him this way. He would have blown the whole league out of the water rather than allow his team to shortchanged like the Cowboys and Redskins have been.

  8. Or they could just overspend the 2013 cap and wait for the League to “enforce” whatever the League believes is the right thing to do under the circumstances.

  9. “lennydpocketqb says:
    Feb 13, 2013 2:21 PM
    They shouldn’t have cheated.”

    As a Pats fan I don’t really care either way but please tell me how they cheated.

    They followed all the league rules. The league approved all the contracts and player cuts involved. Everything they did was within the rules. Because they would play the collusion game now they’re getting hosed.

    If anything the other 30 franchises were the ones who “cheated” by colluding to cheat the players.

  10. redskins won their first division title in over a decade.

    and it only cost them their franchise QB who will never be the same, 36 million dollars in cap space, and probably the business’ branding that has stood for 80 years.

    now that’s the steepest price ever paid for one lousy stinkin’ division title….

    back to 7-9 every year. They are the USFLs Washington Generals, moving forward.

  11. Conspiracy against the Redskins backfired. We actually have a team now. Thanks for the penalty, and you’re welcome for the 5-1 NFC East record.


  12. Good thing for the rest of the league. With an extra $36M, the Skins would probably be shining the Lombardi right now & headed back for seconds.


  13. Maybe they should change their name so it isn’t so incredibly offensive to Florio and then surely the NFL will erase the cap penalties because the team has proven to have such outstanding morals.

  14. getyourownname says:
    Feb 13, 2013 2:19 PM
    Little Danny won’t sue the NFL. He only sues little old ladies who got pressured into buying season tickets they can’t afford. In other words, people he thinks he can bully.

    Plus, he wants to a part of the “in crowd” among owners. Never happen, but he wants it SOOO bad, and suing the other owners wouldn’t help.
    What in Crowd ?Redskins are the 2nd most valuable team in the league and as horrible Snyder is with football decisions he could sell water to a well..HTTR

  15. As far as Danny Boy’s spending goes, he did spend money on idiot contracts a lot, but that was prior to Shanny coming to town. He’s done a much better job of letting football people make personnel decisions, McNabb trade non-withstanding. As much as I’d like to see Jerry and Snyder take on the league, it’s probably not in the team’s best interest to do so. As Tuckrule said, just bite the bullet and deal with it for this season. But RGIII will be back next season, I just wonder if it’ll be prior to, what is it, week 6 when a player can come off the PUP list?
    Guess we’ll see if Cousins can play and build some trade value.

  16. They had an unfair advantage, and even then, they couldn’t take advantage of even winning a playoff game, let alone make the playoffs 2 years ago.

    Cry me a river.

  17. Or … get to the superbowl in NYC next season, use the Giants facilities (as the NFL wants the NFC representative to do) and use Mara’s office as the latrine. It won’t get your $36M back, but sure will make you feel better.

    Just sayin …

  18. How come the other teams are not being punished? Why are the Redskins and Cowboys being singled out? Did all the owners agree to take cap money from them? I need an explanation

  19. Once again I want to bring up how the teams that didn’t spend money, ( Jags, Bucks, Browns, etc ) did not get a cap penalty, they just took home more money and gave those cities a crappy product and no improvements in theirs stadiums……Like Jerry and Dan or not, they do spend money trying to get better and the %$ Mara just gets to take advantage of his “loophole” and handcuff those teams….. Another thing I do not see mentioned much is how come there is a stagnant cap… are telling me that the revenues have not increased at all recently? Come on!!!!

  20. This is an easy case of collusion. It’s cut and dry…..the skins and cowboys got robbed. The only problem is, they really cant do anything about it.

  21. I don’t even care about the cap money anymore. I just want to see them, “pull the pin” and watch the NFL burn, joker-style. That’ll be a good source of entertainment.

  22. I love the people that say the Skins “cheated” or “circumvented the cap”!

    Newsflash: The collective bargaining agreement lapsed creating an upcapped year. There was no cap to violate only a “gentlemen’s agreement” (aka collusion by the owners) to keep the non-existant salary cap at the same level as the previous year.

    And to the fool that said Snyder shouldn’t sue that old lady, I’d love to have you as a landlord!! I’d never pay your rent!! No one held a gun to her head when she signed the multi-year agreement for the seats. Like anything in life, if you sign a contract/lease you either pay or you get sued or sent to collections.

  23. Pull it Danny boy! Pull it and throw!! If the NFL is willing to bully their own, there is nowhere safe. I say a court decision would be in their [Skins] favor. Hell with them all! Run’em through!!

  24. I could care less that they didn’t actually break any rules… The bottom line is the both tried to pull a fast one on every other team in the league, and now they are paying for it.

  25. There were 4 teams who got punished for their actions during the uncapped year.

    The Saints and the Raiders were also penalized in this incident, not by paying a penalty but by being excluded from receiving the redistribution of the penalty cap money.

    IIRC, the repo-ed cap money gets evenly distributed among the rest of the teams.

    So it’s a minor penalty $1.6 mill, but still…seems like the usual suspects get slapped by the league.

  26. there’s no way on the planet the Redskins pursue this with a lawsuit. Snyder has said previously he wants to host a Super Bowl and he’ll lose the votes needed from the other owners if he sues the league.

    Not an option. They lost the cap space. It aint coming back. End of story.

  27. They were told not to do it and they (cowboys and redskins) did it anyway. If your boss tells you not to do something and you do it anyway….surprise there are consequences. What a bunch of crybabies. Why do they care so much anyway? It is not like buying high priced free agents has won them any Superbowls recently anyway.

  28. pooflingingmonkey says:
    Feb 13, 2013 2:16 PM
    Maybe they should stop trying to circumvent the cap? DUH!

    Read what the story says genius…it was an uncapped year. Besides, other teams had done the same thing and yet received no penalty. Wonder why? Oh, that’s right, Mara chairs that committee and the other teams don’t play in the Giants division. DUH!

  29. From what I understand…the Cowboys and Redskins were penalized for using the uncapped year to sink so much money of a multi-year deal into that year only. So the result would be that future caps would not have signing bonuses to spread out and this would play into their advantage of creating future cap space.

    Collusion?? Probably, but not to limit contract amounts. Just not to allow higher revenue teams to create additional cap space in future years by outspending the others.

  30. n0hopeleft says:
    Feb 13, 2013 2:58 PM
    They had an unfair advantage
    Please elaborate on what unfair advantage they had. All teams were supposed to honor the CBA that was negotiated in good faith between the league and players union that created the uncapped year.

  31. Another feather in Goodell’s cap.
    At this rate his hat will be able to fly away on it’s own one day.

  32. I’m a Skins fan and I say the Skins should just forget about it.There is nothing that can be done about it.We still have money to sign FAs BTW it has already been said RG3 will be ready for the 1st game of the season.

  33. funny mara’s team didnt even make the playoffs this year even after skins got screwed. .cant wait til we stomp em again this year with a one leg 23 year old

  34. pooflingingmonkey says: Maybe they should stop trying to circumvent the cap? DUH!

    Part of the first sentence in the article is below. What is it about the word “uncapped” that you don’t understand?

    “…Redskins because they treated the uncapped year of 2010 too literally.”

  35. contraisloosebuthole says:

    ….. If your boss tells you not to do something and you do it anyway….surprise there are consequences …


    Genius – the NFL is a partnership. They split everything evenly. If anything, Jerry and Danny are 1 & 2 in revenue generation. In fact, they give small market teams money as part of revenue sharing.

  36. i know its hard to comprehend but they are not being punished for paying players too much in a non capped yeaer. They are being punished by front-ending contracts in an attempt to circumvent future capped seasons.

  37. funny mara’s team didnt even make the playoffs this year even after skins got screwed. .cant wait til we stomp em again this year with a one leg 23 year old
    maybe your one legged 23 year old can meet the one legged theisman and the two can have a beer.

  38. The NFL certainly was in a forgiving mood as the “Bounty-Gate” suspensions and penalties seem to be lifted left and right for the Saints. If they can be that forgiving in the situation where players were paid an incentive to especially hurt people, then why can’t they display the same kind of charitible spirit when dealing with a situation where it is very debatable on whether the Cowboys and Redskins did anything wrong.

  39. They had to count the Haynesworth payoff against their cap. That’s all that happened.

    That’s NOT a penalty.

    All the teams voted, and agreed to behave as if the cap was in place. The Redskins and Cowboys didn’t abide by the rule, and were told they had to conform. That’s all that happened. No extra assessment … nothing. Only what they paid … as it would have been in any year.

    Being caught cheating … and told to put the money back … isn’t a penalty.

  40. Spreading the Skins $36 mil. over 2 years is almost inviting the Skins to split the difference with the No Fun League via a challenge and drop the second year ($18 mil.)

  41. The Skins haters are very ignorant on this site. They ignore facts. Back to 7-9 every year? The Skins have been to 5 Super Bowls. How could they possibly be 7-9 every year? They were in the playoffs in 2005, 2007 & 2012. How is that 7-9 every year? Incredibly dumb people on this site. Sorry to disappoint, but RG3 will not miss most of 2013 season.

  42. Best way for the Skins to handle this is to make it to the Superbowl and rub it in! Mara wanted more than 36 mil. He wanted our draft picks b/c he saw Jesus is physical form, aka RG3, aka BOB Griffin, aka ROY, aka Division Champ, coming to the Skins!!! Mara cheated and his team missed the playoffs in dramatic fashion, so lets move forward and continue building a SB bound team!


  43. canesgiants says:Feb 13, 2013 4:28 PM

    funny mara’s team didnt even make the playoffs this year even after skins got screwed. .cant wait til we stomp em again this year with a one leg 23 year old
    maybe your one legged 23 year old can meet the one legged theisman and the two can have a beer.

    No worries. We’ll just trot Grossman out there to sweep your squad, AGAIN.

  44. There’s a lot of hatred of the Mara name here. That last name should be spoken about with honor and respect in NFL circles. The reason this league has come as far as it has is due to Mara/Giants sacrifices. When you offer to split your profits for the betterment of the league, your family can hold others accountable that don’t show the league that same respect. The Redskins are only around because of past “Mara”s.

  45. Ok some of the comments here are funny between haters and die hards. What I find pathetic is teams were penalized for overspending in a supposedly uncapped year that went against a back door agreement among all the owners, yet was approved by the league. Then less then 24 hrs before free agency the penalized teams were informed of the penalties, how convienant. Then the NFLPA agrees to sign off on the penalties so it could be inforced without being fought by penalized teams. Then they turnaround and sue claiming collusion. Duh!!! On top of that the salary cap is frozen for 2 seasons in a row! Seriously all fans of all teams should be outraged. Especially if your team is bad and 20 mil under the cap. Why the hell was there a strike?! The players can’t get paid and rookies play for a massive discount but tickets,parking, and food goes up in the stadiums. Keep laughing at the skins and cowboys because your teams are laughing at you!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.