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Posted at 03:17 PM ET, 08/24/2012

Redskins, Cowboys did not collude on salaries, players union says

The NFL players’ union said Friday that the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys did not fully participate in an alleged conspiracy among NFL teams to restrict player salaries in 2010.

The union, in a written statement issued Friday about a court filing Thursday, said it “informed the court that in March 2012, once the NFL and owners believed they were in the clear, they imposed punishments on two teams--the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys--that failed to fully honor the owners’ illegal conspiracy to collude during the uncapped 2010 season.”

The filing is part of a collusion case filed by the NFL Players Association that seeks damages for what it claims was an illegal conspiracy among teams to restrict player salaries in 2010. That was the year the NFL operated without a formal salary cap.

Previously, the union has said that the Redskins and Cowboys were defendants, along with the other teams, in the collusion case.

In a written statement Friday, the NFL reiterated its position that no collusion took place. The league said it expects the case to be dismissed because the union waived its right to make such a claim via the sport’s collective bargaining agreement and a separate agreement last August.

The NFL, in a related case, imposed salary cap reductions on the Redskins and Cowboys in March for the way the two teams structured players’ contracts during the uncapped year. The Redskins’ salary cap was cut by $36 million over two seasons, while the Cowboys’ cap was reduced by $10 million over two seasons.

The league concluded that the Redskins and Cowboys sought to gain an unfair competitive advantage by paying big salaries to players in 2010 to create cap space in later years, people familiar with the case have said.

The Redskins and Cowboys denied wrongdoing and challenged the cap reductions in a case before an arbitrator. But the case was dismissed when the arbitrator ruled the Redskins and Cowboys did not have the right to contest the cap reductions after the league and union had agreed to them.

The union said it had agreed to the cap cuts reluctantly before becoming aware of the alleged collusion.

The union said in its written statement Friday that it has the right to pursue the claim.

By  |  03:17 PM ET, 08/24/2012

 
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