Please. Stop the sniveling. Enough with this selective memory or soon they’ll be renamed the Washington Revisionists.
There is a reason owner Daniel Snyder isn’t able to outbid every other owner and steal away a safety like Dashon Goldson or a right tackle such as Ryan Clady, or even an Aqib Talib or Reggie Bush. There is a reason the team can’t address its numerous defensive backfield needs, including Cortland Finnegan a year ago — why a $36 million deduction in spending over two years was leveled by the league last March.
Contrary to local belief, it’s not the dark forces of Emperor Goodell and his legal department of Sith Lords.
It’s called organizational hubris, and it was practiced most deftly by the team’s brain trust during 2010, the year the league did not have a salary cap in place leading up to its labor standoff.
The team has somehow convinced many of its legions these sanctions just appeared like white smoke over the Vatican.
Reality Refresher: Three years ago NFL owners agreed that teams would not be allowed to exploit the uncapped year to gain a competitive advantage. There was not a written edict violated or a binding contract broken. There were simply a few teams who made a mockery of a negotiated solution to preserve competitive NFL balance, and the most conniving and manipulative among those teams, the Redskins and the Cowboys (who suffered lesser penalties), basically got voted off the island by their peer group.
End of story.
No vendetta by a single NFL owner, maniacally plotting in New York.
No personal payback by the NFL commissioner.
Nope. Just a self-inflicted wound by another group of executives who foolishly believed they were the smartest guys in the room.
The good news is, Shanahan, Allen, fans and others can milk their victimhood, use the penalties as excuses for cutting or not re-signing players.
Lorenzo Alexander, who made his bones on special teams and developed into a Pro Bowl player — if Fletcher is the public conscience of the team, Alexander was its lesser-known veteran leader — was deemed unaffordable because of the cap penalties. The truth is the team wouldn’t ante up another million for his signing bonus so he could stay instead of leaving for Arizona. If they really wanted to keep the one-man gang, they could have found a willing teammate to restructure their deal or found another way.
But like with the release of DeAngelo Hall, the salary cap penalties gave Shanahan an alibi. Actually, if he feels creative, he can use the cap hits for just about any excuse now. Just imagine: