When news broke yesterday that the Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys were both being penalized by the league for front-loading contracts in an uncapped year, most of us just shrugged and went on with our day.
What’s a couple million, right? Well, not much in the grand scheme of things. But $36 million? That’s a different story altogether.
That’s a game changer.
That’s also the amount that the league is now docking the Redskins over the next two years for what is now being considered an ill-advised spending spree in 2010.
I’m not well versed in the annals of Labor law and I certainly don’t spend my days leafing through the by-laws pertaining to the NFL’s aggreement with the NFLPA. Still, I think that I understand the crux of the issue and it’s absolutely absurd.
Basically, 30 out of 32 owners decided that they just didn’t like how much the Redskins and the Cowboys spent in free agency and so now, more than a year after the fact, the league is turning around and saying-
“You really didn’t do anything wrong – not technically – but, fair is fair, and… well… give us $36 million”
If trading up for the rights to the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft was like Christmas day for Redskins nation, then this latest news is akin to the stock market bottoming out on Sept. 15th, 2008.
That $31.1 million dollars that the Redskins had in reserve for free agency was the proverbial cushion that was going to help balance out what we gave up in the draft to go after RG3. It was part of a well-oiled, equally weighted plan that would help pump some much needed life back into the burgundy and gold.
Unfortunately for us, the boredom of the off-season was hitting the NFL hard. What better way to relieve tedium than garnishing a team’s account for $36 million dollars!?!
It’s amazing that something like this is even possible. Did the league not greenlight any of these supposed “front-loaded” contracts before the players involved reported to their new teams?
There’s nothing wrong with parity as it leads to healthy competition but when you start penalizing franchises for spending more than the next guy in free agency then there’s an error at a fundamental level that needs to be addressed.
We all knew that the Albert Haynesworth fiasco would come back to bite the Redskins. What we didn’t realize is that it would swallow Redskins Park, Ashburn and the outlying areas whole. So, if this is the league’s way of saving the Redskins from themselves then thanks, I guess, for the lesson in temperance.
It’s nothing short of reprehensible. Two days ago, I was jubilant that the front office moved to collect the No. 2 pick from the Rams. Two days ago, my joy was incorruptible. Today I feel like we’ve just been tossed back into the middle of another 5-11 season with Beck under center.
The league will have some answering to do here, shortly. There’s no way it can pull the trigger on something like this with such shameless impunity.
Who do we end up getting now, with half of our expected free agency capital?
Since it’s 5:05 EST, we should know the answer to that soon and by the time I’m done writing this, the Skins will have already grabbed someone hot off the free agent express.
I guess the only option now is to go out and win the NFC in 2012. How much would the league hate that?
A lot, probably.