NFLPA confirms deal to prop up 2012 salary cap

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The NFLPA’s ongoing effort to pursue the league for collusion in the uncapped year has made even more clear the chain of events that ultimately triggered the union’s claim that a secret salary-cap existed in 2010.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that the NFLPA has acknowledged in an appeals-court document the deal made last year to ensure that the salary cap would not fall from $120.6 million per team in 2011.

“In early March 2012, the NFL was negotiating with the NFLPA to obtain its consent to certain team salary cap reallocations as a quid pro quo for an NFLPA request to defer the salary cap charge of certain player benefit costs to future league years,” union lawyers wrote in a legal brief filed earlier this month.

The phrase “cap reallocation” relates to the $10 million taken from the Cowboys and the $36 million removed from the Redskins by the league, based on the fact that those teams treated the uncapped year of 2010 as (imagine that) uncapped.  The NFL couldn’t finagle those penalties without the union’s approval, so the league traded an agreement to increase the salary cap for an agreement to pick the pockets of the Cowboys and Redskins.

It’s believed that the extra cap space didn’t come from the NFL’s pockets, but from a reshuffling of players dollars due in future years.  These maneuverings, which also happened in 2013, have contributed to the perception that the cap will “smooth” not “spike,” because any spike coming from the new TV deals will be subsumed within the efforts to keep the salary cap on the rise.

Estimates in 2012 had the salary cap dropping in 2012, possibly by more that several million per team.  With NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith up for re-election only a few weeks after the finalization of the 2012 salary cap, a reduction in the team-by-team spending limit could have sparked a mutiny on which the players could have acted swiftly and decisively.

Making the situation even more curious was the union’s decision to agree to the “reallocations” (which surely flowed from the perception by other owners that the Cowboys and Redskins took too much advantage of the uncapped year) and then to try to sue the league for collusion.  Regardless of whether the players’ right to sue for collusion occurring in 2010 were waived in the 2011 labor deal (Judge David Doty has ruled that they were), there’s an inherent inconsistency in agreeing to whack the Redskins and Cowboys and then claiming that the whacking of the Redskins and Cowboys constitutes catching the NFL with its hand in the cookie jar.

By continuing to push the issue via an appeals-court proceeding, the union risks shedding even more light on a situation that could be used against Smith when he’s up for re-election again.

20 responses to “NFLPA confirms deal to prop up 2012 salary cap

  1. The NFLPA has no legs to stand on with this. They had the chance when the NFL approached them about dinging the Redskins and Cowboys and took the punk way out. They could have netted the players hundreds of millions, if not a billion dollars in collusion penalties and took $46 million instead.

    You reap what you sew NFPLA.

  2. As well as it should be. Smith is no union leader, he put his own interests in front of those of his members. The NFLPA needs a leader like the players in basball had in M. Miller.

  3. Mr Smith, you are the reason why lawyers like you are not trusted and ridiculed. You accepted an agreement even though you knew it was wrong, but I wanted to keep my job. Then I will sue later for collusion because I’m not paying for it. The NFLPA should take the legal fees from you. You are a hack Mr. Smith.

  4. This thread will probably dissolve into the usual whining from Cowboys and Redskins.

  5. 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, seven are in the top 15 in cap room, and only four teams (Denver, Cincy, Buffalo, and Tennessee) are in the top 15 without spending over 123m in 2010, dumping salary, or spending under the imaginary cap floor.

    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.
    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 (and clearly that really affected their ability to sign Glover Quin).

    Sorry for whining.

  6. I know my whininess is frustrating, but:
    15 teams dumped salaries into the uncapped year in 2010
    Washington: DeAngelo Hall (14.5m dump to retain), Albert Haynesworth ( 21m dump to trade)
    Dallas: Miles Austin (34 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/trade/release)
    Green Bay: Ryan Pickett (5m dump to re-sign), Greg Jennings (5m dump to retain/trade), Nick Collins (9m dump to retain)
    Seattle: Marcus Trufant (21m dump to retain/trade/release)
    Patriots: Randy Moss (8.5m dump to trade)

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

  7. If NFL players are like a lot of other voters, they will simply vote for the incumbent regardless, which is a shame. Smith has done (and not done) a lot to advance his own interests while pushing the players interests to the side. I wouldn’t be stunned if he went on to become a politician after he’s done with the NFLPA.

  8. Typical of the second best team in Maryland to try to spend money unwisely to win championships. You’d never catch the Ravens doing stuff like that. Stuff like this is why the Ravens are the team that the Redskins can only dream of being.

  9. …there’s an inherent inconsistency in agreeing to whack the Redskins and Cowboys and then claiming that the whacking of the Redskins and Cowboys constitutes catching the NFL with its hand in the cookie jar.
    It is inconsistent but remember the chain of events. Unoin agrees to the penalties. Then John Mara goes to ESPN and to rub it in the noses of the Cowboys/Redskins and in doing so (stupidly) admits collusion.

    At this point the Union would basically be negligent if Mara is going to hand them quotes to make their case if they did not to file a collusion lawsuit.

  10. You mean the Redskins won the NFC EAST DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP despite a ROOKIE QB and a royal JOBBING FROM THE LEAGUE itself?

    How good could this team be?

  11. Typical of the second best team in Maryland to try to spend money unwisely to win championships. You’d never catch the Ravens doing stuff like that. Stuff like this is why the Ravens are the team that the Redskins can only dream of being.

    And still you and all your Ratbird friends are jealous the Redskins are more popular.

  12. The humorous part of this is Mara and the NFL unknowingly pushed the Redskins into reducing the amount of free agent signings they usually have during the offseason and made them develop a core group of players and gave them a chance to gel. Now, the remainder of the NFL is stunned by the strength of this team and the potential going forward.
    I can always tell the fear and jealousy in people by the way they express their thoughts. Those who believe disparaging and trash talking others makes their beliefs appear stronger only show they have extremely strong fears and jealousy. Raven fans, be proud of you team for their achievements, not jealous of the Redskins for their accomplishments. I would say that the Redskins are, in fact the best NFC team in Maryland and the Ravens are the best AFC team and only World Champion in Maryland.


  13. Mr. Smith was taken to school by Goodell and the owners. They had their patsy and played him. The players can rectify it by voting him out. Mr. Smith is and was in over his head.

  14. @flavaofd$&@ the Baltimore Browns aren’t even the most popular team in their own city. There is still a large group of Baltimore Colts fans that HATE the Ravens or even the IDEA of a team other than the Colts representing Baltimore. The Skins outsell the Ravens in merchandise by crazy numbers. Pretty SURE that’s a direct indicator of the teams popularity NATIONWIDE. Lol Ravens…

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