All we got from Roger Goodell on the cap penalty yesterday was that we should read the statement that was issued earlier in the day. That might have made sense if the statement had not raised as many questions as it answered.
The full statement was posted here yesterday. Let’s pull a few quotes from it and parse it to see what it really says and what it doesn’t say.
The Cowboys and Redskins have challenged the NFL's recent agreement with the NFL Players Association to set the salary cap for 2012 and to reallocate certain salary cap room from Dallas and Washington to 28 other clubs.
Let’s start with “the NFL’s recent agreement with the NFL Players Association.” Exactly who in the NFL and in the Players Association agreed to this is unclear. We know that the full ownership of the NFL did not take a vote on it. It has been reported that the NFL Executive Committee, headed by Giants owner John Mara, a prime beneficiary of the penalties against Dallas and Washington, negotiated the sanctions with the union. But Jerry Jones is a member of that committee and he knew nothing about it.
So it appears that part of a committee made up of part of the NFL owners can change the CBA. And that committee is chaired by Mara, someone who clearly should recuse himself from any decision that would severely penalize two other teams in his division.
We also don’t know exactly who from the union signed off on this and how this method for making a change in the CBA is authorized in the CBA. The answer for the latter question is that it probably is not and Mara, Goodell, and a few other owners are
The reallocation aspect of the agreement is intended to address competitive issues from contract practices by those clubs in the 2010 League Year intended to avoid certain salary cap charges in 2011 and later years.
The NFL (rather, whatever part of the NFL is in charge of this fiasco) continues to ignore the fact that teams like the Bucs, Chiefs, Jaguars, and Cardinals took advantage of the uncapped year, which did not have a spending floor either, to spend under $100 million on players salaries. This affected competitive balance more than the Redskins and Cowboys overspending did (if “overspending” is indeed possible in a uncapped year). Whatever the issue is here, whatever reason the decision to slap the penalty on the Redskins and Cowboys, competitive balance is not it.
The agreement will promote competitive balance without reducing the salary cap or player spending on a league-wide basis.
This is a blatantly false statement. Taking big chunks of salary cap room away from the Redskins and Cowboys, who generally spend their cap dollars, and parceling it out in $1.6 million increments to teams like the Bengals and Jaguars, who frequently spend well under the cap, will lead to less player spending on a league-wide basis.
By refusing to answer questions about the penalties, Goodell did a great disservice to fans of the Redskins and Cowboys, who have a right to know why the quality of their teams will suffer. This was after putting on a dog and pony show about how the league cares about what the fans thing by bringing in 19 of them for a Q&A session with some of the owners.
Somehow, I don't think that any of those present were fans of the Redskins or Cowboys.