While other teams are readying their wallets for Tuesday's start of free agency, the Washington Redskins might face some belt-tightening due to NFL sanctions.
And Redskins general manager Bruce Allen is not happy about it.
In a Monday press conference, Allen criticized the league's decision last spring to penalize the Redskins $36 million in salary-cap room, split over the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The sanction, agreed to by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, was related to the manner in which Washington handled the uncapped 2010 season.
"I call (it) a travesty of fairness," Allen said.
He said a lawsuit isn't currently planned but added, "As we learn more, we'll continue and look at our options as we go on, but right now we're focused on free agency and the draft."
Allen said, "Unfortunately, we've heard four different stories on how the number of $36 million was arrived at between the NFL and the NFLPA. Therefore, we do not have an answer yet on what the truth is on how they reached that number. The NFL and NFLPA have used phrases of 'competitive balance' or 'competitive advantage' over the years, so let's go back to a year ago at this time when the decision was made to do this and let me explain what 'competitive balance' was in the NFL at this time.
"We were just coming off our fourth consecutive season of a fourth-place finish in the NFC East. The New York Giants were Super Bowl reigning champions. According to documents supplied by the NFL lawyers to an arbitrator, the Redskins were 18th in the league in salary cap room for the 2012 season and we had just announced that we had made a trade with the St. Louis Rams for the No. 2 choice overall.
"Ironically, today, there are some teams that have over $100 million more of salary cap room than we do over the next three seasons, but I don't hear anyone talking about 'competitive balance' or that being a competitive advantage."
As for the impact on the team on the field, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said, "We're going to have to make some tough decisions. We're going to have to make some tough cuts. We were an older football team with a lot of veterans, but I promised our players that we were going to do the little things the right way and that the people that worked hard were going to stay."
The Dallas Cowboys were docked $10 million in salary-cap space in a similar ruling.