Judge dismisses NFLPA’s uncapped year collusion claim

AP

A federal judge has dismissed the NFL Players Association’s claim that the NFL engaged in illegal collusion to hold down player salaries during the 2010 season, when there was no salary cap.

The union had claimed that NFL teams broke labor laws by agreeing to effectively have a cap even though it was an uncapped year. But U.S. District Judge Michael Davis ruled today that any such claim the NFLPA wanted to make was nullified once the parties both signed off on the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“Overall, the NFLPA has failed to demonstrate that the NFL engaged in any fraud or other misconduct that prevented the NFLPA from fully and fairly presenting its case. The parties were embroiled in a high-profile, high-pressure labor dispute and multiple lawsuits. After lengthy negotiations through sophisticated counsel, the parties made a calculated decision to enter into a settlement,” Davis wrote in his decision.

After a week in which the NFL was dealt a major loss in a court battle with the NFLPA, today’s ruling represents a victory for the league.

31 responses to “Judge dismisses NFLPA’s uncapped year collusion claim

  1. Umm, not sure, but the ruling’s language talks of there being no evidence that the NFL prevented the NFLPA from presenting it’s case. Is there some error here?

    Aside from that, I am not sure how, when the NFL actually fined 2 teams for overspending during an uncapped year because the teams had agreed (rather had been told) to stick to a cap. That is pretty much the definition of collusion.

  2. The NFL won something in court? Pretty sure that’s one of the signs of the apocalypse, better start praying

  3. “After this amazing win on the merits of the capped uncapped year, affirming that the league may rightfully punish teams for violating imaginary rules and committing thought crimes, it was unclear which was more impressive: Roger Goodell’s legacy, or his chiseled good looks and flowing mane of rock star hair.” — ESPN

  4. sonhoodoo says:
    Sep 8, 2015 5:14 PM

    Umm, not sure, but the ruling’s language talks of there being no evidence that the NFL prevented the NFLPA from presenting it’s case. Is there some error here?

    Aside from that, I am not sure how, when the NFL actually fined 2 teams for overspending during an uncapped year because the teams had agreed (rather had been told) to stick to a cap. That is pretty much the definition of collusion.
    ——————————–
    On its own it would be collusion, but the NFLPA signed off on the NFL taking cap room away from those teams in return for the NFL bumping up the league-wide cap that year. Then after agreeing to it, the NFLPA tried to claim collusion. You can’t charge the other side with collusion when you’re colluding with them. I do think taking away the cap room from the Redskins and Cowboys was bogus. They didn’t do anything that was against the letter of the rules.

  5. The ruling is that the 2011 CBA settled the dispute. The ruling is not making a determination whether 30 teams colluded on a salary cap (which, they clearly did).

  6. More evidence that the patriots are cheaters. Asterisks all around. No good franchise… Wait, what’s that now? Oh this isn’t the patriots. Sorry I just can’t help myself. My patriots hate is such a deep obsession that I probably need to be medicated for my own safety. And since I truly believe that no team would ever do anything to bend the rules that is t the patriots I figured I should comment without any regard for the facts…

  7. Wait…did the NFLPA fail to notify the NFL that there would be a penalty for colluding to fix the salaries in an uncapped year and what exactly that penalty would be?

  8. eagleslakers says:

    On its own it would be collusion, but the NFLPA signed off on the NFL taking cap room away from those teams in return for the NFL bumping up the league-wide cap that year. Then after agreeing to it, the NFLPA tried to claim collusion. You can’t charge the other side with collusion when you’re colluding with them.
    ***********************************

    In a nut shell, this is the answer.

    This was excellent legal advice by the NFL’s lawyer’s at the time. The NFLPA agreed to waive any collusion claims as a part of the last CBA.

    It is also the last good legal advice the NFL has had.

  9. Mevis and Bareback says:
    Sep 8, 2015 5:43 PM

    More evidence that the patriots are cheaters. Asterisks all around. No good franchise… Wait, what’s that now? Oh this isn’t the patriots. Sorry I just can’t help myself. My patriots hate is such a deep obsession that I probably need to be medicated for my own safety. And since I truly believe that no team would ever do anything to bend the rules that is t the patriots I figured I should comment without any regard for the facts…
    ———————————————————————-
    As if the rivers of tears could ever stop, the dam has broken and downstream flooding is a certainty.

    A grown man couldn’t have posted that garbage.

  10. Well, it’s not like Little Danny Snyder would have been able to achieve anything different with the extra cap money. You’re talking about someone who signed Haynesworth for $100 mill.

  11. eagleslakers says:
    Sep 8, 2015 5:24 PM
    sonhoodoo says:
    Sep 8, 2015 5:14 PM

    Umm, not sure, but the ruling’s language talks of there being no evidence that the NFL prevented the NFLPA from presenting it’s case. Is there some error here?

    Aside from that, I am not sure how, when the NFL actually fined 2 teams for overspending during an uncapped year because the teams had agreed (rather had been told) to stick to a cap. That is pretty much the definition of collusion.
    ——————————–
    On its own it would be collusion, but the NFLPA signed off on the NFL taking cap room away from those teams in return for the NFL bumping up the league-wide cap that year. Then after agreeing to it, the NFLPA tried to claim collusion. You can’t charge the other side with collusion when you’re colluding with them. I do think taking away the cap room from the Redskins and Cowboys was bogus. They didn’t do anything that was against the letter of the rules.
    ——–

    Thanks. I hadn’t realized the NFLPA had done that. Now the ruling makes sense as written.

  12. It doesn’t make sense that a SUBSEQUENT labor deal should impact collusion in a previous year. It’s an interesting concept that the NFLPA’s choices were to either continue the holdout or drop any claims to collusion for the uncapped year.

  13. How can this statement be made that there is no evidence of collusion to keep players’ salaries down in an uncapped year? The freaking NFL fined the Redskins and Cowboys for paying their players too much!

  14. This ruling is exactly why the last ruling made no sense. The NFLPA signs a deal, then after signing it, want to go to court about the parts of the deal they didn’t like. If they didn’t like them that much, they should of signed the deal

    At least there are still some judges that realize that unions also have to also be held to account to the rules they collectively bargained. Contrary to the prevailing view on this site, management is not the only one held to the rules of the CBA (at least in theory)

  15. Tough call. The court spoke to an all inclusive clause ( I have not read)
    which was included in the settlement documents and or CBA documents. These clause typically require the parties to settle all known and unknown causes of actions between the parties. A catch all
    clause. For the union to sign is not necessarily a dumb move.
    The questioning comes during the uncapped year. If I am reading this right there was perhaps statistical evidence of collusion. I am also
    surprised that there were reports leaked that ownership was ” warned ” five times” in meetings not to exceed a secretly agreed cap number. My surprise is how that did not get out.
    It does seem based on some of De Smith’s comments that the NFLPA was understaffed and unable to monitor teams adherence to the cap. If you will recall one of De’s selling points for acceptance of the new CBA was more assurances that teams would meet the minimum amounts required to be spent. Clearly teams like the Bengals were violating the minimum spending requirement and the NFLPA was incapable of
    enforcing.
    Bottom line the NFLPA lost a huge bargaining chip and the owners got away with with violating federal labor laws primarily because of the
    incompetency of the NFLPA. This would not have happened in major
    league baseball. Remember the Major League Baseball owners paid
    millions for collusion.

  16. The Redskins/Cowboys team cap penalties says collusion right there. The owner had unwritten rules to follow equaling collusion right there. So this judge is full of crap.

  17. Judge Michael Davis obviously lacked the physical senses of sight (to read), hearing to hear, or the pulse a living body has to live and think. Redskins/Cowboys cold cut fraud and collusion. You cannot penalize an organization like those without collusion because the written rules were followed.

  18. 4 SB Losses & 0 Championships ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says:
    Sep 8, 2015 6:25 PM
    Cowboys and Redskins confirmed cheaters, right fans?
    ———
    Of course. So now the Patriots have company. Even Brady and the Patriots are proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be cheaters.

    ===

    Come now, even Roger Goodell and Jeff Pash don’t pretend that anybody was proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Judge Berman’s task wasn’t to review whether Brady was guilty of anything. He was judging the process. And he concluded that Goodell couldn’t suspend Brady for four games when there was no rule on the books that Brady was being suspended for. Also that Brady should have been given opportunity to question Jeff Pash and look at the NFL’s interview notes.

    Right?

    This is all so silly. People just throw words around willy-nilly.

  19. Let me get this straight…the Skins/Cowboys are “cheaters” and punished, yet the Bears did the same thing and pain Peppers many a millions in the same offseason, and no word ever…

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