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NFL roundup: Cap penalties against Cowboys, Redskins upheld

The SportsXchange

The special master who heard the appeal of the Cowboys and Redskins granted the NFL's motion to dismiss a grievance, upholding two-year penalties structured to dissolve $36 million of cap space for Washington with Dallas losing $10 million.

"We pursued our salary cap claim pursuant to the CBA and we respect and will abide by the arbitrator's decision to dismiss," the team's said in a joint statement Tuesday.

The arbitration hearing in which the Cowboys and Redskins separately made appeals on their salary-cap penalties was heard May 10.

League system arbitrator Stephen Burbank, who heard the arguments earlier in the month, made the call to dismiss the appeal according to NFL counsel Jeff Pash.

Each team was docked for using the uncapped 2010 year to create what was characterized as an unfair competitive advantage going forward, putting large base salary numbers into 2010 on player contracts. Dallas did it in the contract of wide receiver Miles Austin, while Washington structured contracts with extra money in 2010 for cornerback DeAngelo Hall and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.

----Seahawks offensive lineman Allen Barbre was suspended the first four games of the 2012 season, Howard Balzer of the The Sports Xchange has learned.

Barbre, 28, plays guard and tackle. He's not guaranteed a roster spot and his suspension complicates his chances of making the 53-man roster out of camp.

The Seahawks pursued multiple offensive linemen in the offseason and also get second-year guard John Moffitt back. Second-year offensive lineman James Carpenter (knee) could return, but his health remains a question.

---Players will be required to wear thigh and knee pads beginning with the 2013 season, the NFL announced Tuesday.

The players' union could still oppose the move because it wasn't collectively bargained.

"While the NFL is focused on one element of health and safety today, the NFLPA believes that health and safety requires a comprehensive approach and commitment," the NFLPA said in a statement. "We are engaged in and monitor many different issues, such as players' access to medical records, prescription usage and the situation with professional football's first responders, NFL referees. We always look forward to meeting with the NFL to discuss any and all matters related to player health and safety."

---Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita said he's innocent in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal, according to multiple reports.

Fujita received a three-game suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for his alleged role in a bounty program in place during the four years he spent with the Saints.

He expressed his disappointment that his reputation has been tarnished by the league's claim that he contributed money to the "bounty" pool.

Fujita, 33, is appealing his suspension. He is a member of the players' union executive committee.

---Raiders coach Dennis Allen said he has contingency plans for all positions, so he's not overly concerned about what will happen should inside linebacker Rolando McClain face discipline from the NFL stemming from an assault conviction in Alabama.

"Right now, as we look at it, Rolando is part of our family, he's part of our team. We're going to let the whole process play out before we do anything," Allen said. "Once the legal proceedings are finished, then we'll determine what, if any, action we need to take."

McClain is taking part in the offseason program despite being convicted of assault stemming from a Nov. 30, 2011 incident in Decatur, Ala. while he was away from the team to attend his grandfather's funeral.

-- Quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero signed with the Raiders. With Rhett Bomar released recently, Newhall-Caballero joins Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor as the quarterbacks on the roster.

An undrafted rookie out of Brown, Newhall-Caballero was named second-team All-Ivy League as a redshirt senior after completing 226-of-369 pass attempts for 2,356 yards and 18 touchdowns last year.

---Colt McCoy took the first snap with the Browns' offense during the team's OTA practice Tuesday, but coach Pat Shurmur cautioned against reading into it that McCoy is the "starting" quarterback.

"It's easy to look out there and say, 'This guy is doing this so he must be the starter and he must be the backup.' There were a lot of combinations out there today and I think what's important is in some of the areas that we have touched on all winter, we are watching guys compete," Shurmur said. "I wouldn't say we are deferring to anybody at this point."

The Browns spent a first-round pick on Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden, and veteran Seneca Wallace remains in the fold.

---The Dolphins and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin finalized a four-year contract expected to be worth $4.9875 million.

Martin was a second-round pick in April. The junior was an All-American at Stanford at left tackle but is competing at right tackle with Lydon Murtha. He has never played right tackle but is considered a polished athlete capable of making the change.

---Defensive tackle Josh Chapman, a fifth-round pick out of Alabama, signed with the Colts.

Terms were not disclosed.

Chapman, 6-0, 316 pounds, started 25 of 54 games at Alabama and totaled 88 career tackles (44 solo), 2.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, one quarterback pressure and four passes defensed. He was part of two BCS National Championship teams in 2009 and 2011.

---The NFL approved the extension of the Bills' current arrangement to play one regular-season home game in Toronto at Tuesday's owners meetings in Atlana.

John Kryk of Sun Media first reported the extension through 2017 with only final details to be ironed out between stadium executives at Rogers Centre in Toronto and the Bills.

The five-year agreement worth a reported $78 million expires at the end of this season, when the Bills host the Seattle Seahawks.

---Wide receiver Preston Parker signed a one-year contract extension with the Buccaneers.

He was an exclusive rights free agent and scheduled to make $540,000 in 2012. The extension, according to NFL.com, adds a $1 million base salary in 2013 and a $50,000 signing bonus. The bonus is the only guaranteed money in Parker's deal.

Parker excels on kick returns and caught 40 passes for 554 yards in 2011. He was an undrafted free agent in 2010.

---If the NFL doesn't push the Pro Bowl from its annual schedule, the game could be played in New Orleans on Jan. 27, one week before the city hosts Super Bowl XLVI.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has previously expressed his displeasure with the game's lack of competitiveness, said in February cancelling this year's game is one of the options on the table. The Super Bowl is scheduled for Feb. 3 in New Orleans, but a game site for the Pro Bowl is very much in flux.

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