Originally written on Redskins Hog Heaven  |  Last updated 11/9/14

Was the theft of $46 million in salary cap space from the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys specifically directed at Daniel Snyder and Jerry Jones?

Andrew Brandt's story, Cap Control, on The National Football Post says it was.

"As NFL teams entered the uncapped year of 2010, many wondered if teams such as the Redskins and Cowboys would be “Steinbrenneresque” in their spending with none of the previous limits that the Cap had imposed in previous years."

Messrs. Snyder's and Jones' owner colleagues worried as far back as 2007 when they were plotting the lockout that that the league's two most valuable franchises would ratchet up player salaries even as the league conspired to rein them in.

Mr. Snyder did not pay exorbitant salaries to other team's stars. Instead, he did something much worse.

Snyder finally hired the general manager he always said he didn't need. Actually, Mike Shanahan forced him to, but I digress.

Bruce Allen and Shanahan used the language in the CBA to load future income for Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall into 2010, when the labor agreement said no salary cap would apply. The maneuver fixed bad contracts written by since departed Vinny Cerrato, worst executive in pro football. It was an accounting technique, like accelerated depreciation used to gain a tax advantage. It positioned the Redskins to operate conventionally, like every other NFL frachise.

It seems a good management practice, but it presented the owners with their worst nightmare — the Washington Richskins unencumbered by salary cap hell.

Daniel Snyder had to be stopped.

Sports franchises are private ventures, but they feel like public agencies to fans. They are "our" players. Our government leaders spend our tax money to build our stadiums. Thus, the NFL stole "our" salary cap.

Mr. Snyder has been deservedly criticized for high-handed practices, like lawsuits against grandmas and small city papers. But, this is the war we want him to wage. And win.

Go get 'em, Danny.

Point after

The late Gene Upshaw threatened that if the salary cap went away, that it would never return under the next CBA. He may have been posturing as part of labor negotiations, but we will never know. He died before the lockout. The owners could not be sure that a salary cap would be written into a new agreement while Upshaw was around. That may be why the soft rules about no cap treatment were never put in writing. That the cap did return and is lower than under the old labor agreement is more proof that the players lost the lockout war. 


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