Two months ago at the NFL owners meetings in Florida, New York Giants owner John Mara, who was born naked into this world and had to inherit everything he has, spoke out in support of the salary cap penalties the league had imposed on the Redskins and Cowboys about two weeks earlier. At the time, his smug words raised the ire of many Redskins fans.
It turns out that members of Redskins Nation were not the only ones listening to Mara and seething over what he said. And his words could come back to bite him right in the seat of the pants of one of those $5000 suits he bought with his Daddy’s money.
In its collusion lawsuit filed against the NFL, the NFLPA’s lawyers cited Mara’s words as evidence that the league owners did conspire to create a “secret salary cap” of $123 million. The Redskins and Cowboys were penalized a total of $46 million in future cap space for, in essence, violating that secret cap.
Under “Factual Allegations” in the document, the NFLPA says the following:
In finally publicly disclosing why the NFL sought to remove salary cap room from the Redskins and Cowboys, Mara candidly admitted the NFL’s and the Owners’ collusion regarding the secret salary cap in saying: “I thought the penalties imposed were proper . . . . What they did was in violation of the spirit of the salary cap. They attempted to take advantage of a one-year loophole, and quite frankly, I think they’re lucky they didn’t lose draft picks.” (Giants owner Mara: Cap penalties could have been worse, NFL.com (Mar. 25, 2012).)
Mara similarly admitted: “It has to do with teams attempting to gain a competitive advantage through a loophole in the system. They attempted to take advantage of it knowing full well there would be consequences. . . . [W]hen you look at the overall scope of what they did, they were trying to take advantage and they were told not to.”
In the view of the NFLPA, and in the view of many others, Mara may as well have been waving a sign saying “We Colluded” as he spoke.
His brazen admission that “they were told not to” spend over the imaginary salary cap could be very costly for his team and for the league. The suit is looking for at least $3 billion in damages.