Anything sound familiar to anybody?
The word is that Snyder is beside himself, but he has only his uncontrollable self-interest to blame. What happened was this: Back in 2010, when the NFL entered hardball negotiations with the players union for a new labor contract, the owners warned each other not to use the situation to get a leg up. They were in an uncapped year, with no limit on player salaries, and entering a tense and emotionally fraught labor situation, and they asked each other not to abuse the circumstances.
In essence they said, “Don’t try to set yourselves up to be in a better spot when this is over.” Think of it like a yellow caution flag in a car race: The drivers agree to hold their places and not to accelerate until the track is clear.
But that’s exactly what Snyder did. To a lesser extent, so did Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Jones just sped up a little. Snyder apparently floored it. The Redskins shifted money, moved it, dumped it, and did everything they could to emerge from the labor pause with the books cleared of bad numbers, so when it was over they could get the biggest jump possible on other franchises in buying up new players.
The NFL has ordered the Redskins to take a $36 million hit over two seasons, while the Cowboys have been told to give back $10 million.
Think about that for a moment: Jones is generally the most excessive operator in the NFL yet Snyder apparently outstripped him by more than three times. That is a serious fiscal rebuke from Commissioner Roger Goodell and the management council. The fact that they did it on the eve of free agency tells you how harshly they meant to punish.
What’s more, one person told Mark Maske of The Post that some of the owners considered $36 million letting the Redskins off easy.
“A lot of people were very angry about it,” the person said. “The ramifications could have been far worse for them.” Apparently some even recommended that the Redskins should lose draft picks.
Snyder is said to be lawyering up and alleging “collusion,” but experts say a legal challenge will be tough. For one thing, colluding in this instance means improperly acting collectively to suppress salaries. But salaries weren’t suppressed. They were just moved around, manipulated by the Redskins for the purpose of evasion and gaining a future competitive advantage when the cap was reinstated. For another, the group that the NFL owners supposedly colluded against, the union, has signed off on the punishment.