When the NFL and the players’ union signed a 10-year labor deal, all the talk was about a decade of labor peace.
If this is peace, we’d hate to see what war looks like.
A day after the NFL announced that an arbitrator had dismissed a case filed by the Redskins and Cowboys in an attempt to recoup a combined $46 million in salary cap penalties, the NFLPA announced a related action of its own.
“Our union recently learned that there was a secret salary cap agreement in an uncapped year,” NFLPA president Dominique Foxworth. said in a statement.
That uncapped year was 2010, the final year of the previous CBA. The union claims that the “secret salary cap” was $123 million per team.
The Redskins and Cowboys were penalized salary cap space for what Roger Goodell and the NFL Management Council determined was excessive spending during that uncapped 2010 season that created an unfair competitive advantage for those teams. Dallas was hit with a $10 million reduction to be taken over tow year, Washington with $36 million over two seasons.
That money was redistributed to the salary caps of 28 of the other 30 NFL teams. The Raiders and Saints had committed similar “violations” but not to the degree where the league saw fit to penalize them.
The league has responded by saying that the claim “has no merit” and any such action is prohibited by the CBA ratified last year.
The union’s suit claims that since the collusion was ongoing and was not known at the time that they agreed to drop such claims.
"When the rules are broken in a way that hurts the game, we have an obligation to act," said NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith in a statement. "We cannot standby when we now know that the owners conspired to collude."
The suit was filed in the U. S. District Court in Minnesota. That is the home of Judge David Doty, who has been very sympathetic to the NFLPA in various legal matters over the years.
The suit claims that the collusion cost the players “up to $1 billion, if not substantially more” and is looking for compensatory damages of $3 billion or more. It does not specifically ask for the salary cap dollars to be restored to the Cowboys and Redskins.
There is no word on when a trial might start or if the players will request any sort of immediate action.