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Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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Old 04-23-2012, 01:34 PM   #751
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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Originally Posted by SBXVII View Post
Well since the issue happened prior to the current CBA, under your reasoning, the Arbiture has not authority since the issue happened under the old CBA. I would think the Arbitrator looks at the CBA no matter if it was the old CBA or new CBA to see if there were any violations of it.

I agree with you he is under the unbrella of the NFL but if the punishement is in regards to the old CBA I think he can hear it no different if he has to see if someone failed to follow the new CBA. Although there was a CBA for 2010 as many have stated there was no CAP. It's hard to get into trouble for something that was not there or in place legally in writing.

Also the warning not specific to what the Redskins and Cowboys had done and the league didn't like the fact the two teams found a loop hole. Too bad. Make a rule/law have all the owners and NFLPA sign off on it so it won't happen again and move on. Don't punish the two teams cause you don't like what they did even if it was legal.
You're missing the point. The teams are not appealing to the arbitrator to rule that what they did in the uncapped year was proper. They appealing that what the owners did as "punishment" during the current CBA was not procedurally proper.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:08 PM   #752
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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All of which I believe is probably irrelevant. I hope I am wrong but based on what Hoop has laid out and my basic understanding of how this process will work it doesn't matter whether we did anything wrong or not. The owners can do whatever they want. That doesn't mean it wasn't a pretty sh*tty thing to do. It also doesn't mean they won't choose to do more sh*tty things in the future.
That doesn't make very good, logical, business sense though. Not saying that isn't the case at all, but what would stop teams from ganging up on a team and stripping them of salary any time they want for any reason, good, bad, or ugly? There HAS to be some safety net in place to keep teams from frivolous acts?
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:13 PM   #753
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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You're missing the point. The teams are not appealing to the arbitrator to rule that what they did in the uncapped year was proper. They appealing that what the owners did as "punishment" during the current CBA was not procedurally proper.
Ok, my question to you is has anyone actually seen what the written complaint is? It was my understanding that they were filing procedurally, but procedure not only encompasses how the punishement was doled out but the whole procedure period meaning that the league approved these deals when they had the opportunity to not approve them and now after approving them have decided to punish both teams. That is a procedural part also. You can't approve something then 2 yrs later punish the two teams for something they procedurally approved.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:14 PM   #754
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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That doesn't make very good, logical, business sense though. Not saying that isn't the case at all, but what would stop teams from ganging up on a team and stripping them of salary any time they want for any reason, good, bad, or ugly? There HAS to be some safety net in place to keep teams from frivolous acts?
Which is what the Arbitrator is for then there is filing suit against 30 owners.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:29 PM   #755
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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Originally Posted by JoeRedskin View Post
Preliminarily, let me say, I think Hoophead's responses are pretty much on the money.

The arbiter is only concerned with violations of current CBA not the expired CBA of 2010. The arbiter only way has authority to make any binding decisions on the parties (the NFL and the NFLPA) because they gave it to him in the current CBA.

Further, according to Hoophead (I haven't read the actually complaint - anyone have a link to the document actually filed by the Skins?), the Skins are challenging the only that the penalty is improper under the current CBA. While I agree with your assessment of the various perspectives, it seems like the Skins are opting for an allegation that the penalties are procedurally improper - which I think is a losing argument.

Essentially, the wrong occurred at a time when no arbiter had jurisidiction (i.e. no CBA). The Skins best argument - again, as stated by Hoophead - is best presented in a court of general jurisdiction. I think the Skins can argue to the arbiter - hey, the alteration is unfair b/c the CBA requires the same salary cap for all team and the crux of this alteration is for something that occurred outside the bounds of the current CBA and so, agreement or not, this salary cap reduction is improper under this CBA.

Quite frankly, in this forum (before an arbiter authorized under the current CBA), I think the NFLPA's agreement to the reduction carries a lot of weight and, in fact, might be dispositive.

As to the post-hoc approval, I am not sure it is determinative. Again, that would really depend on the specific language of the CBA as to how it can be modified.
I haven't read the complaint - didn't think it would be public.

Also FWIW, there was a CBA present in 2010, just not a salary cap. The 2006 CBA provided for an "Uncapped Year", and laid out the specifics of exactly what that meant, and what could and couldn't be done with contracts in an Uncapped Year.

As for other comments, I'm not really trying to make an argument here. I'm a Skins fan trying to understand what's going on who decided to read the relevant documents and provide some analysis as to what's going on and what's likely to happen. As best I can, I try to say "I guess" and "probably" when I'm guessing.

As for how the CBA applies to this situation, as far as I can tell:
  • It's designed to govern the relationships between employees (players) and employers (Clubs)
  • It doesn't say anything about how the Leagues can discipline the clubs or govern the relationship between the League and Clubs
  • The parties to the CBA are the NFLPA and NFLMC, and the agreement can be modified by written agreement of the parties
  • The NFLPA and NFLMC have apparently agreed to a modification of the CBA to lower the Salary Cap for the Skins
  • The Skins don't like what the NFLMC has done on their behalf
  • 29 owners voted to accept the changes made by the NFLMC on behalf of all the Clubs

As far as I can tell, the arbitrator is only involved because the punishment involved the salary cap, but the CBA arbitrator doesn't really have power to rule on how the NFL punishes its member Clubs.

The only hope is for the arbitrator to say, "I know you tried to modify the CBA, but that modification is inconsistent with the rest of the document and the modification makes the CBA no longer make sense, so either lose the modification or rewrite the whole CBA.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:34 PM   #756
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

Damnit Hoophead, I'm really trying to like you and what you're contributing to this thread but you're making it impossible with your bubble bursting in regards to this shitty situation.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:35 PM   #757
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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That doesn't make very good, logical, business sense though. Not saying that isn't the case at all, but what would stop teams from ganging up on a team and stripping them of salary any time they want for any reason, good, bad, or ugly?
I don't disagree...and I have said as much either earlier in this thread or in the original thread on this topic. What "makes sense" and is "fair" though is irrelevant. Here we are in the middle of getting screwed in a way that isn't fair and doesn't make much sense at all. The owners have given us lemons. Right now we are slowly approaching the decision point between making lemonade or finding some grenades and painting them like lemons and giving them back to the other owners.

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There HAS to be some safety net in place to keep teams from frivolous acts?
Why? It's their league. You and I and everyone else can WANT there to be. We can HOPE that someone comes to their senses and puts an end to this idiocy but hopes and wants mean nothing in this case.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:39 PM   #758
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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It all goes back what I said earlier. If the teams can just simply vote to punish a team or teams anytime they want to for whatever reason they want, then why even have a CBA? If you're not going to follow the agreement like it's laid out, what's the purpose of it? That's quite illogical, to assume the teams can have a majority vote to penalize a team for actions they did years ago under a different CBA. Why would any owner want to go along with this willingly, knowing the same thing could easily happen to them as well.

The most logical solution goes back to this: The 'skins and 'boys did what they did in 2010, which was an uncapped season under the old CBA - which was current during 2010. This vote that Hoop keeps putting all of his apples into really doesn't have any credence of legality, but moreover, was just a formality. Just like the leagues move to ask for dismissal was a formality. The long and short of it is simply those two clubs did nothing wrong; they followed the CBA to the letter, they did not collude.
The CBA doesn't have anything to do with how the League can discipline it's member Clubs. It authorises an arbitrator to enforce certain provisions and settle disputes.

The NFL Bylaws do describe how the NFL can discipline its member Clubs. It provides for appeals to go to the Executive Committee (32 owners). Beyond that, a Club would have to sue in civil court.

And the vote that was made by the owners seemed to be a limited vote on a specific subject - to ratify the NFLMCs agreement with the NFLPA to modify the salary cap to punish two teams.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:49 PM   #759
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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Originally Posted by HoopheadVII View Post
I haven't read the complaint - didn't think it would be public.

Also FWIW, there was a CBA present in 2010, just not a salary cap. The 2006 CBA provided for an "Uncapped Year", and laid out the specifics of exactly what that meant, and what could and couldn't be done with contracts in an Uncapped Year.

As for other comments, I'm not really trying to make an argument here. I'm a Skins fan trying to understand what's going on who decided to read the relevant documents and provide some analysis as to what's going on and what's likely to happen. As best I can, I try to say "I guess" and "probably" when I'm guessing.

As for how the CBA applies to this situation, as far as I can tell:
  • It's designed to govern the relationships between employees (players) and employers (Clubs)
  • It doesn't say anything about how the Leagues can discipline the clubs or govern the relationship between the League and Clubs
  • The parties to the CBA are the NFLPA and NFLMC, and the agreement can be modified by written agreement of the parties
  • The NFLPA and NFLMC have apparently agreed to a modification of the CBA to lower the Salary Cap for the Skins
  • The Skins don't like what the NFLMC has done on their behalf
  • 29 owners voted to accept the changes made by the NFLMC on behalf of all the Clubs

As far as I can tell, the arbitrator is only involved because the punishment involved the salary cap, but the CBA arbitrator doesn't really have power to rule on how the NFL punishes its member Clubs.

The only hope is for the arbitrator to say, "I know you tried to modify the CBA, but that modification is inconsistent with the rest of the document and the modification makes the CBA no longer make sense, so either lose the modification or rewrite the whole CBA.
I'd like to thank you for sharing your perspective and hope you remain a mainstay around here. This is very enlightening.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:10 PM   #760
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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Well it all depends. "IF" procedure is to bring an arguement to the Exec committee, and if they see something wrong then it is supposed to be brought before the owners at a meeting for a vote, then a punishement applied.... their procedures were all screwed up. They went beyond their procedures. If there is no formality in how this is supposed to be handled then your right.

Two main things bother me constantly about this....

1- the league approved the contracts when they had the opportunity to not do so. Shame on them move on.

2- other teams did similar deals. Either punish all or punish none. It should not matter what the money amount was.

Going back to my #1, the league approved the deals because had they not there would have been the proof the NFLPA needed to file a law suit against the league for colluding to keep costs/salaries down. Although this is not a court of law... if it was I think a judge would have a hard time getting past the leagues blatent colluding before looking into whether the Skins and Boys did anything wrong or should be punished. I guess the league is now confortable with thinking the NFLPA can't or won't do anything about their colluding for the league to punish the two teams.

Basically I'm baffled at how 30 team owners can point fingers the whole time they are actually breaking the labor law, at two teams who chose not to break the labor law, and punish the two teams for not following the illegal agreement.

But as has been stated, it's going to be what the Skins and Boys put up as arguements for the Arbitrator to investigate. If it's only procedure then you guys might be right. However what is the normal procedure for this type of issue? for the Exec committee to simply punish then take it before the owners for a vote? That doesn't sound right. Maybe they don't need the vote and were just trying to see if all the other owners were on board with the punishement.

Maybe the arguement is that the league approved these deals and shouldn't have if they violated the CBA. The Arbitrator can then possibly agree that the league having ample opportunity to deny them and didnt' shouldn't give them the right to now punish for something they didn't exersize back when they could.
As explained earlier in the thread:
  1. Punishing teams for overspending in an Uncapped Year would probably be illegal collusion
  2. Punishing teams for shifting salary cap hit into an Uncapped Year is not illegal collusion. The 2006 CBA contained multiple clauses prohibiting shifting too much salary cap hit into an Uncapped Year
  3. Mara has said the Clubs are being punished for shifting too much cap hit into the Uncapped Year
  4. The NFL Bylaws give the Commissioner specific authority to discipline clubs up to certain limits if he believes in his sole discretion that they acted in a way detrimental to the League and adversely affected competitive balance.
  5. The League has said the the Commissioner warned Clubs not to try to shift too much cap hit into the Uncapped Year in advance
  6. The League does not approve contracts - it has the right to veto them
  7. The NFL Executive Committee is not the same as the NFL Management Council Executive Committee. The MCEC reports to the Commissioner who reports to the Executive Committee.

The only reason this is a discussion at all is that either the Commissioner or other owners decided they wanted to punish the two Clubs with a different - less harsh - punishment than what the Commissioner is specifically given the authority to impose in the NFL Bylaws.

As for what other teams did similarly, I'd be happy to see specific examples. The Peppers contract was the one offered as an example, but that seems to be a case of mistaken reporting.

The real argument the Skins have is that, had they been told in time that they couldn't structure the Haynesworth contract the way they did, the Skins would have cut Haynesworth before the end of the uncapped 2010 League Year instead of waiting to July to trade him to the Pats. Cutting him would have legitimately caused all of his $21m signing bonus to hit in 2010, and he would be done with. EVEN IF you think what the Skins did was unfair, they should only be on the hook for 3 years x $3m from Hall's bonus (that would have been a signing bonus otherwise). $36m is way over the top.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:13 PM   #761
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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Originally Posted by HoopheadVII View Post
I haven't read the complaint - didn't think it would be public.

Also FWIW, there was a CBA present in 2010, just not a salary cap. The 2006 CBA provided for an "Uncapped Year", and laid out the specifics of exactly what that meant, and what could and couldn't be done with contracts in an Uncapped Year.

As for other comments, I'm not really trying to make an argument here. I'm a Skins fan trying to understand what's going on who decided to read the relevant documents and provide some analysis as to what's going on and what's likely to happen. As best I can, I try to say "I guess" and "probably" when I'm guessing.

As for how the CBA applies to this situation, as far as I can tell:
  • It's designed to govern the relationships between employees (players) and employers (Clubs)
  • It doesn't say anything about how the Leagues can discipline the clubs or govern the relationship between the League and Clubs
  • The parties to the CBA are the NFLPA and NFLMC, and the agreement can be modified by written agreement of the parties
  • The NFLPA and NFLMC have apparently agreed to a modification of the CBA to lower the Salary Cap for the Skins
  • The Skins don't like what the NFLMC has done on their behalf
  • 29 owners voted to accept the changes made by the NFLMC on behalf of all the Clubs

As far as I can tell, the arbitrator is only involved because the punishment involved the salary cap, but the CBA arbitrator doesn't really have power to rule on how the NFL punishes its member Clubs.

The only hope is for the arbitrator to say, "I know you tried to modify the CBA, but that modification is inconsistent with the rest of the document and the modification makes the CBA no longer make sense, so either lose the modification or rewrite the whole CBA.
What he said. Well done.

Just like to add, it was the Redskins and Cowboys that chose this as the forum in which to dispute the matter. I believe in a court of general jurisdiction the Skins had a much better argument. Why they chose to begin here where, arguably, they're stuck with their weakest arguments is beyond me.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:13 PM   #762
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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I think it is our first step. I am sure the lawyers who make lots of money doing these things have mapped out a strategy - but it seems to me this is really a bad way to do it. By starting with the weakest argument, you are setting yourself up to lose out the gate AND you risk losing arguments that may be better presented in a different forum. (i.e. - a judicial court may say to certain arguements "Oh, that issue is within the range of those brought out in arbitration and you can't bring them now".)

Personally, I think they should have gone nuclear out of the gate and say "Fix it or let the chips fall where they may" (Call it the "Al Davis Approach"). Instead, it seems that they are trying to play nice and are at risk for losing some arguments that would be best made in a court of general jurisdiction.

But, hey, I guess its why their lawyers make the big bucks.
I think they don't want to sue, because that would air out too much dirty laundry. I think they'd rather eat the punishment than sue.

I think they've taken this more limited arbitration option to get the other owners to settle on a reduced punishment to make it go away.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:18 PM   #763
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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Originally Posted by FRPLG View Post
It'll be interesting to see if the argument that someone here made concerning the timing of the penalty was a violation in his eyes. Perhaps technically the penalty was imposed without proper procedure simply based on the timing. I think that may be the only decent procedural argument that can be made. The vote, post-facto, didn't magically make the penalty timely. Both teams were penalized in violation of the CBA that existed on March 13th. Maybe.
The CBA doesn't say anything about how the League can punish its Clubs, and the arbitrator doesn't have any power to decide whether a penalty was appropriate.

The arbitrator can only say that an action was unfair under the CBA.

IMO, the choices are:
- The CBA was improperly modified
- Based on the way "Salary Cap" is defined throughout the document, the modification doesn't make sense - so the modification needs to be dropped or the whole document needs to be rewritten.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:20 PM   #764
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

Just want to say a quick Thanks to JoeReadskin and Hoophead,they have brought alot more to light in this then I ever imagined was involved.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:21 PM   #765
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Re: Redskins, Cowboys could go “nuclear” over cap mess

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Originally Posted by HoopheadVII View Post
I haven't read the complaint - didn't think it would be public.

Also FWIW, there was a CBA present in 2010, just not a salary cap. The 2006 CBA provided for an "Uncapped Year", and laid out the specifics of exactly what that meant, and what could and couldn't be done with contracts in an Uncapped Year.

As for other comments, I'm not really trying to make an argument here. I'm a Skins fan trying to understand what's going on who decided to read the relevant documents and provide some analysis as to what's going on and what's likely to happen. As best I can, I try to say "I guess" and "probably" when I'm guessing.


As for how the CBA applies to this situation, as far as I can tell:
  • It's designed to govern the relationships between employees (players) and employers (Clubs)
  • It doesn't say anything about how the Leagues can discipline the clubs or govern the relationship between the League and Clubs
  • The parties to the CBA are the NFLPA and NFLMC, and the agreement can be modified by written agreement of the parties
  • The NFLPA and NFLMC have apparently agreed to a modification of the CBA to lower the Salary Cap for the Skins
  • The Skins don't like what the NFLMC has done on their behalf
  • 29 owners voted to accept the changes made by the NFLMC on behalf of all the Clubs
As far as I can tell, the arbitrator is only involved because the punishment involved the salary cap, but the CBA arbitrator doesn't really have power to rule on how the NFL punishes its member Clubs.

The only hope is for the arbitrator to say, "I know you tried to modify the CBA, but that modification is inconsistent with the rest of the document and the modification makes the CBA no longer make sense, so either lose the modification or rewrite the whole CBA.
My question to you is this. You mention a modification and you mention specifics in the CBA, but am I correct in saying the specifics in the CBA didn't cover what the Redskins did... specifically, and two the modification came in the new CBA not in the old CBA and written and agreed to by all parties. Am i correct in saying the NFL is trying to apply a new modification to the old CBA that had no CAP?

Ok so if the Arbitrator is involved only because of the salary CAP then he can look into if the NFLPA was bribed or blackmailed into having to agree with the punishement or have the CAP lowered? He can also look into whether the league colluded by trying to keep the CAP down? He should also be able to look at whether contracts approved by the league and decided if the two teams should be punished based off their approval of the contracts. Because it effected our CAP space.
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