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Posted at 02:05 PM ET, 04/18/2012

Arbitration hearing scheduled in Redskins, Cowboys salary cap case

A hearing has been scheduled for May 10 in the challenge by the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys to salary cap reductions ordered by the NFL.

The hearing is scheduled to take place before Stephen Burbank, a University of Pennsylvania law professor who is the sport’s system arbitrator, a league spokesman said.

It is not clear when Burbank will rule.

The NFL cut $36 million from the Redskins’ salary cap over two seasons for the way the team structured player contracts in 2010, when pro football had no salary cap. The Cowboys lost $10 million over two years.

The teams have denied wrongdoing and filed a case with Burbank under a provision in the sport’s collective bargaining agreement. Burbank’s decision can be appealed under the CBA, or the two sides could settle the case.

According to people familiar with the matter, the Redskins and Cowboys reworked contracts to load player salaries into the uncapped year that otherwise would have been paid in subsequent seasons with a salary cap in place. That allowed the teams to clear cap space in those capped seasons.

The league concluded that the Redskins and Cowboys attempted to gain an unfair competitive advantage when the salary cap returned, according to people familiar with the case. The teams voted, 29-2, at last month’s annual league meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., to affirm the salary cap reductions. The Redskins and Cowboys voted against that resolution and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers abstained.

The NFL Players Association believes the Redskins and Cowboys did nothing wrong, but the union agreed to the cap reductions to keep the league from lowering the salary cap for all teams, a person with knowledge of the union’s views of the case has said. The $46 million in salary cap reductions assessed to the Redskins and Cowboys was redistributed to 28 of the other 30 teams.

The salary cap returned last summer with the ratification of a new CBA. The cap was set at $120.6 million per team this season.

By  |  02:05 PM ET, 04/18/2012

 
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