Published September 26, 2012
The Redskins and Cowboys were docked salary cap space earlier this year
The NFL in court documents filed yesterday portrayed the salary cap hits to the Redskins and Cowboys as a relatively recent development, and not one tied to an alleged “secret” salary cap from '10. The NFLPA is suing the NFL for allegedly colluding to restrain salaries in '10, when there was no salary cap. The NFL docked the two teams salary space earlier this year, saying they had frontloaded contracts that year. But Peter Ruocco, who has managed the cap for the NFL since '94, in a declaration said that he started his analysis only earlier this year. He added that the salary cap reallocation was done not to punish the two teams for their actions in '10 but to ensure competitive balance. His declaration had the NFL confirming for the first time publicaly the '12 salary cap would have been lower than the current $120.6M level had the union not agreed to the reductions for the Cowboys and Redskins. He said the union "agreed to our reallocation proposal in exchange for our commitment to raise the salary cap for the 2012 league year above the amount called for by the new CBA (along with related agreements regarding calculations of the salary cap in future league years)." The declaration does not elaborate on what Ruocco means by the last part, but sources have said the cap will not rise as high as it may have in future years to reflect the artificial bump this year. The NFL also in an accompanying motion repeated its contentions that the collusion charge is barred by the current CBA and the dismissal of the antitrust lawsuit brought by Patriots QB Tom Brady and the resolution of previous legal settlement that had once governed labor relations between the two sides. In addition, the motion notes that 23 of the 32 teams spent more than the $123M per club that the NFLPA alleges was the secret cap level.