NFL free agency starts on March 12 and by that time every NFL team must be under the salary cap, which is expected to be about $120 million plus credits for cap money that was not spent during 2012.
Well, that will be the cap number for 30 of the league’s 32 teams anyway. The Cowboys will have to trim $5 million off of their spending compared to other NFL teams while the Redskins will have $18 million less to spend. Both teams were hit with salary cap penalties on the eve of free agency a year ago for supposed spending violations when, per the CBA, there were no rules. The Cowboys were hit with a $10 million cap penalty while Washington was slapped with $36 million. The teams “paid” half of their respective penalties last year and the balance is due in 2013,
It has long been thought that the door to the Redskins and Cowboys being able to appeal that penalty has been closed. However, Mike Shanahan said yesterday that was not the case.
When asked if he could discuss the case, the Redskins coach said that he could not.
“Well, I can’t answer that at this time so that means that we’re still involved in it,” he said cryptically. “When I can speak about it, I will speak. But at this time, I can’t.”
This comes as a surprise to most NFL observers as there is no appeal underway that anyone knows about. The Redskins and Cowboys quickly appealed the penalties to the special master for such disputes but he ruled against them. Both teams announced that they would not pursue the case any further.
But it appears that the Redskins have some avenue to take to try to restore cap money. Since we don’t know what they are doing to try to get the penalties overturned it is difficult to asses what chance those efforts have of bearing fruit.
We will keep an eye on the situation (even though, like everyone else, we're not exactly sure where to look). Stay tuned.