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Posted at 02:21 PM ET, 03/27/2012

NFL teams back decision to cut salary cap of Redskins, Cowboys [updated]

Updated: March 28: Tuesday’s vote by team owners to endorse salary cap reductions agains the Redskins and Cowbys was by 29-2 tally, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday. The Redskins and Cowboys voted against the measure and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers abstained, the person said. .

NFL teams voted, 29-0, Tuesday to endorse the salary cap reductions imposed by the league on the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys.

The Redskins and Cowboys were not involved in the vote. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers abstained, a person familiar with the vote said.

Two people with knowledge of the proceedings confirmed the 29-0 vote by the owners of the 32 NFL teams approving a resolution endorsing the agreement between the league and the players’ union that resulted in the salary cap reductions.

The vote took place at the annual league meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.

Approval by the teams was not required for the NFL-mandated reductions, which already have taken effect, so the vote was taken as a show of support for the league’s action.

The Redskins and Cowboys, under a provision in the sport’s collective bargaining agreement, have filed a case to an arbitrator challenging the reductions. The case is to be heard by Stephen Burbank, a University of Pennsylvania law professor who serves as the sport’s “system arbitrator.” A decision by Burbank could be appealed to an appeals panel.

The Redskins received a $36 million salary cap subtraction over two years, at least half of which must be absorbed this season. The Cowboys received a $10 million reduction over two years. According to people familiar with the case, the teams technically violated no salary cap rules but the league found that the Redskins and Cowboys structured contracts during the sport’s season without a salary cap in 2010 to gain an unfair competitive advantage when the salary cap was back in effect.

The two teams restructured players’ contracts to pay money to players during the uncapped year that otherwise would have been paid after the salary cap returned, those people with knowledge of the case have said. That way, the money paid to the players never counted against the salary cap and the Redskins and Cowboys had additional cap space in subsequent seasons, the people have said.

The NFL Players Association reluctantly agreed to the cap reductions, a person with knowledge of the union’s deliberations on the matter has said, to keep the salary cap for the upcoming season from being set lower for all teams. The $46 million in salary cap room that was taken from the Redskins and Cowboys was redistributed to 28 of the other 30 teams, resulting in this season’s salary cap being set at $120.6 million per club.

The New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders were found by the league to have utilized similar tactics during the uncapped season but to a far lesser degree. They received no salary cap reductions but did not benefit from the additional cap space given to other teams.

By  |  02:21 PM ET, 03/27/2012

 
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