“The only thing the Redskins and Cowboys are guilty of is refusing to agree to collusion… the league got it wrong on this one, dead wrong, flat wrong, and the NFLPA got it wrong by going along with it… and the Cowboys and ‘Skins got screwed by it.”
–Kent Somers, NBC Sports, profootballtalk.com
ABSTRACT: The NFL is acting against the law, good faith, and general good sense. and commissioner Roger Goodell should be fired. NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith is acting against the best interests of his constituents by agreeing to this and should be given a vote of “no confidence” next week.
If you don’t want to read it in my words, go read it at Deadspin. Listen to Kent at the link in his name above. But be informed.
When I woke up yesterday, the Redskins had traded for Robert Griffin III, had $30M in salary cap space, and things were looking good for them. Then yesterday, commissioner Roger Goodell literally out of nowhere announced that the Redskins would LOSE $36M (and the Cowboys $10M) split against this year and next year’s cap, to be added to the salary caps of 28 other NFL teams at $1.8M a pop.
Why? How does this even make sense?
The answer is that it doesn’t make sense; we are witnessing the actions of a petty dictator. There is no lighter way to say it. The the league charges that the Redskins and Cowboys somehow broke a “gentleman’s agreement” a.k.a. collusion in 2010; there was NO WRITTEN RULE against anything the Redskins, Cowboys, and a dozen other teams did that year, only a non-legally-enforceable “verbal warning” that was apparently communicated to the teams “multiple times.” I’m sorry, Mr. Goodell, but no matter how many times you repeat it, it won’t become magically legal and enforceable. In contrast, there IS a written rule against owners agreeing to adhere to an agreed upon “salary cap” in 2010, and this punishment is proof that such an illegal agreement took place. Furthermore, in 2010, the NFL league office approved every contract the Redskins and Cowboys signed that year! Why did they approve them, you ask? Because they were legally bound to. Now, two years later, Goodell and the league decides they don’t like how there weren’t any rules in 2010, and are acting like little babies crying that two older kids should get punished even though they didn’t do anything wrong.
The NFL says they did this in the name of competitive balance. The NFL is making up rules as it goes along, and applying them ex post facto, all in the name of the sport’s integrity. The word “irony” just broke from being abused so hard.
Not convinced I’m writing objectively here? I freely admit I am a Redskins fan and you may question my bias. but! look here: This isn’t the first time something like this has happened! The owners and commissioner already have a legally established history of making illegal, unilateral decisions that go against the NFLPA’s best interests! In Feburary of 2011, a federal judge ruled that the NFL was guilty of not acting in good faith toward the NFLPA vis-à-vis the tv contract negotiations. The owners negotiated a lower price for the tv contracts than they could have, by insisting on a stipulation that they (the owners, not the players) would still get paid by the TV networks in the event of a lockout, when their legal obligation was to attempt to get the most money possible. This ruling was key to working out a labor deal before the start of the 2012 season–when the owners found that they weren’t going to get paid in the event of a lockout, they suddenly had a lot more incentive to get a deal worked out, and it was only after this ruling that they dropped some of their more unreasonable demands. So I repeat: the owners and commissioner already have a legally established history of making illegal, unilateral decisions that go against the NFLPA’s best interests! More on why exactly this is against the NFLPA’s best interests below.
This is DEVASTATING, especially for the Redskins, who lose a whopping $18M against two consecutive salary caps. Not only is that the difference between Vincent Jackson AND Carl Nicks, but the team was informed of this less than 24 hours before the start of free agency, receiving unfairly insufficient time to prepare their strategy.
This is exactly the problem I’ve had with Goodell his whole tenure, he’s totally arbitrary in his decisions, unguided by rule or law or precedent (Footnote-1). If you remember NFL draft day last year, he was booed by fans. You can see the hilarious video here! He was unpopular then, and I can’t imagine this doing anything to boost confidence in him.
Now, by law, the NFLPA has to approve of this before it can become official. Because the Redskins and Cowboys were planning on spending all their cap money, which was redistributed to teams like the Buccaneers and Bengals who are not planning on spending it, it ultimately takes money out of players pockets. Why would DeMaurice Smith approve of the deal, then? The assumption is that because he job is non-tenured, meaning he has to be periodically re-approved by vote. The story is that the NFL salary cap would have gone down from last year, from $120M to $116M. And by the way, that vote for DeMaurice Smith’s job? It’s coming up next month. The assumption is that he feared he wouldn’t have been able to keep his job so soon after having to try to sell an unpopular decision (to lower rather than raise the salary cap) would have resulting in him losing his job. Even with a decreased salary cap, more money would have ended up going into player’s hands. Therefore, Smith is guilty of acting in his own self-interest and directly against the best interests of his constituents. He deserves to lose his job.
Or, as PFT puts it, “instead of regarding the league’s proposal as the “Eureka!” moment that confirmed the existence of collusion prior to the lockout, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith apparently embraced the opportunity to avoid the challenge of explaining to the Executive Committee and the Board of Player Representatives at the upcoming annual meeting how and why the new CBA resulted in a salary cap that somehow dropped.”
The NFL is acting against both the law and good sense. and commissioner Roger Goodell should be fired. The Redskins and Cowboys should sue the NFL and NFLPA, and they should win.
1.- Remember the Terrelle Pryor suspension, where Goodell unilaterally decided that the NFL should suspend Pryor, for breaking NCAA rules, even though Pryor wasn’t employed by the NFL and therefore was not eligible to receive any punishment?