There’s more than enough strangeness in the Redskins-Cowboys salary cap case to go around. If the two teams don’t win their arbitration case against the NFL, they at least may get some clarity and closure.
Does it seem strange to me that the two highest valued franchises are being punished? Yes.
Does it seem strange that the punishment is based on cap violations in an uncapped year? Sure.
Does it seem strange that the punishments were handed out at the last minute before free agency started? Again, my answer is yes. It seems a bit peculiar how this all unfolded.
The league cut the Redskins’ cap space by $36 million over two years for loading salary payments into 2010, when the league had no salary cap. The Cowboys lost $10 million over two years for the same alleged offense.
This almost comes across as a power struggle among owners: The old school owners who did things with a handshake and a cigar versus the new school guys who are branding machines and seem to find their way under the other owners’ skin.
The reality is that the two teams have been punished without any rules in place to support the penalties. If frontloading contracts happened in an uncapped year, I can’t see how they could punish the Redskins and Cowboys based on a gentlemen’s agreement, even if they were warned repeatedly.
I do know that verbal commitments can be interpreted as legally binding, so I would assume the burden to prove wrongdoing belongs to NFL committee that issued the salary cap penalties.
I hope the information is released. I’d like to know the grounds for the penalties and whether they were legit. If it turns out they weren’t justified, this could open Pandora’s box.
It could expose biases that may exist towards two franchises that do things differently and make a ton of money doing so.
More on the salary cap case: