The NFLPA’s collusion lawsuit against the NFL could provide some fodder for blog posts during the slow summer months but it seems unlikely that it will succeed. And even if the union does prevail, the Redskins will still be stuck with their salary cap penalty.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk tweeted the following yesterday:
Here's my current position on the collusion suit: Was there collusion? Absolutely. Is it too late to do anything about it? Absolutely.
And that pretty well sums up the players’ case. The time for the NFLPA to do something about this was back in March, when they were asked to approve the cap sanctions against Washington and Dallas.
Or perhaps long before that. Prior to the uncapped 2010 season I had a conversation with an agent who used to work for an NFL team. He said then that teams had been warned about possible consequences for taking advantage of the absence of a salary cap. So this conspiracy to collude as the union calls it was not a deep dark secret. If agents knew about it, the NFLPA knew about it.
The union, Cowboys, and Redskins all would have been better served if the NFLPA had refused to go along with the cap sanctions and, if necessary, go with a 2012 cap number that was from five to 10 percent lower than it was the year before. They would have had a virtual slam dunk collusion case and the potential damaged received likely would have dwarfed the one-year reduction in the cap.
But they didn’t. De Smith decided to avoid short-term pain (perhaps spurred by the fact that he was up for reelection later in March) at the expense of possible long-term gain. The cap hits delivered to the Redskins and Cowboys were just collateral damage.
Even if union-friendly judge David Doty does rule in favor of the players, the Redskins are unlikely to recover the lost cap space. That is not something the union asked for in the suit The best that they can hope for is to be exempted from having to pay into a fund for damages since they clearly did not participate in the collusion.