Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

League explains cap adjustment by pointing to “competitive balance”

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 20: Graham Gano #4 and Sav Rocca #6 of the Washington Redskins watch as a field goal attempt by Gano misses in overtime against the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field on November 20, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Graham Gano; Sav Rocca

Scott Cunningham

The NFL has not yet announced that the Cowboys will lose $10 million in cap space or that the Redskins will lose $36 million in cap space. Or that the money will be reallocated to all other teams except the Raiders and Saints.

But the league has acknowledged generally that an issue in the uncapped year of 2010 has caused the league to do, well, something.

“The Management Council Executive Committee determined that the contract practices of a small number of clubs during the 2010 league year created an unacceptable risk to future competitive balance, particularly in light of the relatively modest salary cap growth projected for the new agreement’s early years,” the league said in a statement forwarded to PFT by spokesman Greg Aiello. “To remedy these effects and preserve competitive balance throughout the league, the parties to the CBA agreed to adjustments to team salary for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. These agreed-upon adjustments were structured in a manner that will not affect the salary cap or player spending on a league-wide basis.”

As previously explained, the NFLPA agreed with the approach, because (according to multiple league sources) the NFL agreed in return to bump up the salary cap from the range of $116 million for 2012 to $120.6 million.

The Cowboys and Redskins contend that they have complied with the cap.

Though a fairly convoluted topic, the matter has generated significant interest because it directly impacts the ability of the Cowboys and Redskins to utilize cap space in 2012 and/or 2013. For the Redskins, who have given up three first-round picks and a second-round pick for the rights to Robert Griffin III (or, possibly, Andrew Luck) need the cap space to sign free agents.

It necessarily will impact the Redskins’ ability to be competitive. And to the extent that the activities in 2010 gave the Cowboys or Redskins a competitive advantage, keep in mind that neither team qualified for the playoffs in 2010 or 2011.