SBD/March 14, 2012/Franchises

Redskins Officials Reportedly "Furious" About NFL Reducing Salary Cap As Punishment

The NFL this week reduced the Redskins’ salary cap by $36M over the next two seasons and Redskins officials were said to be “furious with the NFL’s decision and were contemplating how they should respond,” according to Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. The league was punishing the Redskins and Cowboys for front-loading contracts during the uncapped ‘10 season but the Redskins have “denied any wrongdoing, and people within the league acknowledge the team technically did not violate salary cap rules.” What the team did do was “ignore what most other clubs considered to be an understanding on limiting expenditures on players in 2010.” Sources said that the league was “upset with the extent to which their teams refused to heed the warnings about player spending during the uncapped year.” Sources said that the league “did not find that the Redskins or Cowboys violated salary cap rules.” Instead, it found that they “sought to gain an unfair competitive advantage once the salary cap returned” (WASHINGTON POST, 3/14).

BATTLE IS BREWING: ESPN’s Adam Schefter said, “I think this is a battle that is just beginning. It’s going to be a protracted, long battle between the Redskins, Cowboys and the league” (“NFL 32,” ESPN2, 3/13). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said, “If I was Dan Snyder, particularly with that much cap room taken away, I would turn into Al Davis and I would sue the NFL. You can’t tell me, ‘Yes, this is legal, you can do this even though we don’t want you to,’ and then turn around and take the cap room. I would sue the league.” ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser said, “Both these teams found a legal loophole and they went through it. That is the way it works. You can’t retroactively punish them” ("PTI," ESPN, 3/13). In DC, Deron Snyder wrote, “It’s beyond me how teams can be sanctioned for breaking an unwritten rule or gentlemen’s agreement.” The NFL is “guilty of gross arrogance in this case, not the Redskins and Cowboys” (WASHINGTON TIMES, 3/13). Columnist Kevin Blackistone said, "Who comes up with these rules? ... This is unprecedented. It seems like they are just making up rules on the fly.” Dallas Morning news columnist Tim Cowlishaw said, “It’s really hard to look at these teams and say they got a competitive advantage out of doing it.” However, L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said, “The only two teams doing it were the Redskins and the Cowboys. They got caught and now they have to pay the price” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 3/13).

THE BIG PAYBACK?
In DC, Sally Jenkins writes “underneath the numbers, there is the sense of something personal in what the NFL did to Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.” Snyder reportedly is “beside himself, but he has only his uncontrollable self-interest to blame.” There is a “disturbing background and context to this penalty,” and it “feels like the culmination of years of operating in a certain way.” Snyder obviously “has not built up a reservoir of goodwill among his fellow owners, despite the profitability of his team.” He can “argue that he did nothing technically wrong all he wants,” but he “didn’t do anything smart either.” Jenkins: “Call it a lifetime achievement award for how he does business” (WASHINGTON POST, 3/14).
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