League fines Cowboys and Redskins for cap issues

Posted March 12, 2012 @ 6:06 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Updated 6:06 p.m. ET on Monday, March 12

The NFL has penalized two franchises for overspending in the uncapped year of 2010 by front-loading contracts.

ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported that the Redskins and Cowboys each have been docked cap space for using the uncapped 2010 season to dump salary and front-load contracts, which the league instructed teams not to do. Washington loses $36 million in cap space over the next two seasons and Dallas loses $10 million. Those losses can be split up over the 2011 and '12 offseasons, according to the report.

According to Schefter, the money taken from those two clubs will be split evenly among 28 other teams — giving $1.6 million to each. Two other teams — the Saints and Raiders — do not receive any extra money, but are also not fined for their overspending two years ago.

The report states that Dallas and Washington took on contracts that would impact their cap figure in 2010 but would not be spread out over the length of the contract, which is abnormal. Other owners found this unfair, the reason they opted to fine the teams.

The salary cap for the 2012 season is $120.6 million.

The league released the following statement on the fines:

"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. 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."