Redskins still not ready to yield in cap fight

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Their reported plan to file a lawsuit that could delay the start of free agency ended up being a bluff.  But when it comes to pursuing a return of their $36 million in stolen cap space, the Redskins aren’t ready to yield.

While it’s unclear whether the Redskins will pull the pin on a litigation grenade that could put a chunk of shrapnel in the rear end of every NFL team (including the Redskins), the Redskins still aren’t letting it go, according to a source familiar with the thinking of the front office.  With all teams convening in Phoenix starting next Sunday for the annual league meetings, that also could be the site of the team’s last-ditch effort to broker a deal.

If no deal can be struck, the question becomes whether Redskins owner Daniel Snyder will file an antitrust lawsuit against his partners, essentially claiming that the NFL punished the Redskins and the Cowboys for not observing rules of the uncapped year that didn’t appear in the collective bargaining agreement between the 32 franchises and the NFLPA.

While the case, on the surface, has plenty of appeal, having one NFL team accuse the bulk of them of collusion would attract plenty of interest elsewhere.

Even though the NFL already has defeated the union’s effort to sue for collusion that obviously occurred in 2010, the NFLPA could still pursue other avenues once the Redskins file a civil complaint that amounts to a smoking gun.  For example, we’ll possibly hear all over again about the NFL’s tax-exempt status and broadcast antitrust exemption in an effort to get Congress to threaten to take action in response to what could easily be construed as obvious proof of corruption in one of the most public of all American endeavors.

And so the Redskins sit at the poker table.  The question isn’t whether they have a good hand; they’ve got a Royal Flush.  The question is whether they’ll be willing to show their cards where doing so could put the entire operation into the toilet.

44 responses to “Redskins still not ready to yield in cap fight

  1. Much as it pains me to say it as a Ravens fan, I’m totally with the Skins and their fans on this one. This whole episode wreaks from top to bottom.

    What doesn’t make sense is why Jerrah Jones is so quiet about it, and why, given that it’s ultimately a business slight, Snyder isn’t working more closely with him (I know they hate each other).

    Although, I wouldn’t want 30 or 31 billionaires trying to get even for one illegality by searching for a thousand legal ways to screw me over as payback.

  2. I just made a list of the 20 teams that were over or within 1m of the 123m “spirit of the cap” in 2010, and the top 15 teams in terms of 2013 cap room. I expect it to be removed due to length. But basically, of the 13 teams that dumped salary into 2010, six are in the top 15 in cap room, and only four teams (Denver, Cincy, Buffalo, and Tenessee) are in the top 15 without spending over 123m in 2010, dumping salary, or spending under the imaginary cap floor.

  3. The list I mentioned above won’t stay up, but these 16 teams were over the imaginary 123m cap (*team dumped salary in 2010): WAS* 178m, Dallas* 167, NO* 145, MIN* 145, SEA* 140, NYJ* 136, GB** 135, OAK*- 135, IND 133, CHI* 132, PHI* 131, NE* 128, NYG 128, SF 126, MIA 124, HOU 123.1. Four teams, fearing the wrath of Mara, were suspiciously within 1m under the “cap”: DET* 122.9, PIT 122.9, CLE 122.9, BAL 122.3.

  4. Of those teams, seven are in the top 15 cap room situations going into 2013: PHI (25m below), SEA (15 below), MIN (12 below), GB, NE, MIA (7, 6, 5 below), OAK (5 below). And two, KC (16 below) and Tampa (12 below) underspent the legal cap “floor” in 2010. The remaining 4 salary dumping teams all have in excess of 4.5 million in cap room, except for Detroit, who only has 2.5 right now.

  5. More importantly, here’s a list of the 15 teams that dumped cap into 2010. [team]: [player], ([dump], [type of deal])
    Washington: DeAngelo Hall (14.5m dump, retained), Albert Haynesworth (21m dump to trade)
    Dallas: Miles Austin (17/20 m dump to re-sign), DeMarcus Ware (7m dump to retain)
    Philadelphia: Jason Peters (8.5m dump to retain), Leonard Weaver (6.5m dump to re-sign)
    Chicago: Julius Peppers (24m dump to FA sign)
    Kansas City: Tyson Jackson (16m dump to retain/trade/release)
    Houston: Matt Schaub (10m dump to retain/trade/release)
    San Fransisco: Michael Crabtree (4m dump to retain)
    New Orleans: Jahri Evans (6.5m dump to re-sign)
    Minnesota: Antoine Winfield (2.5m dump to retain), Steve Hutchinson (16m dump to release)
    Detroit: Kyle Vandenbosch ( 5.5m dump to retain)
    Green Bay: Ryan Pickett (5m dump to re-sign), Greg Jennings (5m dump to retain), Nick Collins (9m dump to retain)
    Seattle: Marcus Trufant (21m dump to retain/release)
    Patriots: Randy Moss (8.5m dump to trade)

    Shocker alert:
    New York Giants: Brandon Jacobs (14m dump to release), Justin Tuck (5m dump to retain)

  6. If it were up to Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder, there would be no salary cap and football would be just like Baseball. Salary cap elevated football to where it is today.

  7. reed20fence:

    Jerry Jones wants to host more Super Bowls in the future, that’s why he’s not going to bite the hand that feeds him.

    Snyder and Jones are actually good friends.

  8. Danny will either sue or walk out of next week’s winter meetings with the 2016 or 17 Super Bowl. It’s your turn commissioner.

  9. They should. And the point isn’t that there wasn’t “technically” a cap to “exceed”, it’s the fact that they were looking to be sneaky via a technicality when everyone else in the league abided by the gentleman’s agreement to not conduct such subversive acts. But then again, the two renegade owners in the league do as renegade owners do…

  10. Like a previous poster said, it could be like baseball where 80% of the league has an unfair advantage to start with? Football is Americas game for a reason, and baseball is Americas pasttime for a reason

  11. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 10, 2013 1:34 PM

    They should. And the point isn’t that there wasn’t “technically” a cap to “exceed”, it’s the fact that they were looking to be sneaky via a technicality when everyone else in the league abided by the gentleman’s agreement to not conduct such subversive acts. But then again, the two renegade owners in the league do as renegade owners do…
    No, the point is that when your so-called “gentlemen” made their so-called “gentleman’s agreement,” they violated the laws of the United States of America. The rest is, frankly, irrelevant.

  12. As a Skins fan, this article was a great read!!! Knowing Danny boy, if he’s got a “royal flush”..he’s gonna get smthg!! They’ve been quite this offseason! That in itself is pretty scary!

  13. As a Giants fan, I sincerely hope they sue and win. Blow up the League. Revenue sharing – gone. NY Giants, in the Nation’s number one media market, able to spend as much as they want, whenever they want. Will make the Yankees look like the middle class. Over 8 million homes in the NYC Nielsen market alone. Closest NFL market is Chicago with 3.5 million. It will be like printing money. The Giants will get more from a 30 second commercial on one of their games than the Skins will get for 50 commercials on theirs. Please, PLEASE, sue Mr. Snyder. It will be fantastic to have $100 million per year more than any other team to spend on players. Green Bay, Buffalo, Jacksonville, and few other teams will go away, but small price to pay to dominate the post season for the next three decades. Sue, Danny-boy, sue.

  14. As a lawyer myself, I’m amazed there’s been no mention of a potential class action suit against the NFL on behalf of the season ticket-holders. The lawyers would be local heroes in D.C. and the league would settle quickly.

    Mike, I know you’ll remove this comment quickly, but after you do, please broach the topic of a class action in a future post. Unlike the NFLPA, the ticket-holders who paid up front for a product and then saw that product diminished illegally gave up now rights in the CBA.

  15. Not everyone agrees the money Snyder spent was “stolen” from him and that the league enforcing fairness for the teams (the other 30 teams) that didn’t try to take advantage of the situation amounts to a “Royal Flush” of a hand for the cheaters.

  16. Musicman and others,
    Folks against the league’s action aren’t fighting against the concept of a cap. We are fighting against the concept of a “gentlemen’s agreement” that was meant to influence spending during an uncapped year.

    Independent commercial bodies are prevented by federal law from engaging in “gentlemen’s agreements” because it leads to price fixing (e.g., imagine all of the airlines having a gentlemen’s agreement to double prices). Simply put, free market capitalism doesn’t work if the market isn’t free but is manipulated by ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ among those holding a monopoly. The NFL gets an anti-trust exemption when the NFLPA agrees to waive their rights, but that exemption does not apply during a year without a CBA. In other words, you are making the Redskin’s case quite clearly when you repeatedly scold them for not going along with collusion.

  17. If this was your team, You would be the one screaming for justice. NO RULE WAS BROKEN, IF IT IS NOT WRITTEN THERE IS NO RULE!

    What about those who spent below the required amount that year like many did? No ladies agreement there?

    This whole thing is CRAP and if you think otherwise look at the timing last year, announced on the EVE OF FREE AGENCY!

    Goodell is buddies with Mara and I hope tp God Mr. Snyder throws the whole freaking case of grenades at them all!

  18. This whole saga is ridiculous. The league has overstepped its bounds..again. How in the hell are the people punishing me (the other 30 teams) allowed to make a decision that benefits them from my punishment? What if every judge in a civil suit got 20% of every judgment? I believe there would be wholesale judicial anarchy. Of course 30 teams are going to vote to split 36 mill 30 ways. what idiot would not vote for free money for his team? and how can I violate an “illegal” gentlemen’s agreement? That’s like locking up a junkie for failing to pay his dealer for drugs. The whole thing is asinine…

  19. I hope the Redskins win this thing, and I am not a Redskins fan.

    I do think that the only thing that can take down the NFL a peg or two is the NFL itself. At some point I do believe that they will ruin the good thing that they have.

    As for the NFL’s popularity. Before the internet’s existence I would have said that the any given Sunday any team can win, aspect of the sport is what was driving its popularity. I am a Charger fan, so if there wasn’t a salary cap, I think it is safe to say that my favorite team would be at a huge disadvantage compared to the larger markets.

    Now what I think is driving its popularity is fantasy football and the fact that the season is so short with each team playing just one game a week. Other sports have fantasy leagues, but they just go on forever, I just can’t stay interested that long and have no desire to make changes every day to fantasy rosters.

    I do think the fantasy aspect of the game in the end will make fans, fans of players rather than teams. I do think that will affect stadium attendance If that wasn’t the case, then I don’t think people would care one way or the other whether they had wireless internet access in the stadiums or not.

  20. I am surprised that the Feds have turned a blind eye to the obvious collusion of the owners. I guess if you don’t play baseball it’s not worthy of a government inquiry???

  21. He doesn’t need to bring an anti-trust claim. He could just sue the others for breach of some duty that every other club owes him under the partnership agreement. Time to expose the partnership agreement to sunlight.

  22. If the Redskins would have played by the same rules as everyone else this wouldn’t have been an issue. It comes down to greed.

  23. Look for Danny and Bruce to begin making deals above the cap. The league will be forced to reject those deals, and have to justify their actions, which they can’t. The only justification they have is illegal in the USA. Spend Danny, Spend.

  24. Do it.

    Then the mindless sheep fans of other teams that never gave two seconds to learn about this will be forced to realize that many teams accelerated bonus money on the uncapped year – New Orleans, Green Bay and Chicago. Not just Washington and Dallas.

    And they’ll realize that a team like Tampa actually went under the minimum cap floor (which didn’t exist, much like the cap maximum – which didn’t exist that year) on their contracts, to yield record high cap space last year and this year.

    “Spirit of the rules.”

    At that point people will care when it affects their own team, their own cap, their ability to improve the roster, when it hits in their own backyard.

  25. For all you idiots that say the redskins and Dallas did something wrong please explain 2 me how you can break a rule that is non existent and besides that only 2 teams get punished, but 15 teams went over the cap and you say they should of gone along with the gentlemens agreement thats called colluding which is a federal crime to begin with so if somebody prints there own money and tells you its fake but you get caught should you not get in trouble because other people get away with it

  26. The rule was broken, the penalty was imposed….stop whining over law suits and the like. Our courts and Congress are log jammed with this crap and I’m tired of it. Take your bitter pill and swallow it!!

  27. The NFL is founded on the concept of checks and balances via the draft/ profit sharing etc.. This way, the lower seated teams will have a chance to compete with the more high powered teams in the NFL both on the football field and within the market. This concept alone evokes the feeling of hope for the fans of some of the historically dreadful teams in the NFL. What happens when there are no longer these balances in place and teams are able to just throw money around without and drawbacks? Well, teams in smaller markets can no longer compete with the behemouths such as the Cowboys and Redskins. Although, I do not agree with the actions of the Redskins, I cannot condemn them for a rule that actually was not a rule. I am all for the idea that nobody is above the rule of law, but when there is not a law in place how is one penalized by individuals within the same market whose number one priority and motivation to do business is to beat your team. Judge/Jury/

  28. When will people realize that the Redskins were NOT handing out NEW contracts to NEW players, they were accelerating bonus money of ALREADY existing contracts of HALL & haynesworthless.

    The Skins WERE NOT buying NEW PLAYERS. They were NOT buying anything, AT ALL.

    They tried to clear future cap space. And ironically the NY GIANTS did the EXACT SAME THING.

    They accelerated bonus money on Jacobs and Tuck, which would have been spread-out over the entirely of the contract, into the uncapped year, “accelerated” it, in order to clear space in the future.

    And the Giants also went over the “Cap” in the 2010 season which did not have a “Cap.”

    The Giants, Mara, did the same thing as the Redskins. The SAME.

    Yet the competition committee headed by Mara decided to penalize two of their division rivals.

    This is CORRUPT.

  29. Get over it Redskins! Snyder and Jones got caught bending the rules (called cheating where I’m from) so deal with it and move on.

    The kicker is that they have little to show for their efforts to gain an advantage over other teams. Cheating indicates that you don’t really believe in yourself or your abilities.

    A talented GM can win and not go over the cap.

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