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According to a source, owners were displeased by how the Redskins and Dallas Cowboys restructured contracts to dump salary into the uncapped 2010 season despite the fact neither team was found to have violated the collective bargaining agreement.

Owners would not set the 2012 salary cap and move forward into the new league year until the union agreed to one of two options: either a lower salary cap in 2012 than in 2011, or salary cap penalties against the Redskins and Cowboys, with that cap space distributed equally among 28 other clubs.

Because the NFLPA represents players employed by all teams, not just the Redskins or Cowboys, it agreed to the option that pays the most money to players throughout the league, even though that came at the expense of Washington and Dallas.

“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,” the league said in a statement. “These agreed-upon adjustments were structured in a manner that will not affect the salary cap or player spending on a league-wide basis.”

The Cowboys have been penalized $10 million in cap space. In a rare show of solidarity with the archrival Redskins, they released a similar statement Monday night defending their contract maneuvers in 2010.

The agreement between the league and union established the 2012 salary cap at $120.6 million, a slight increase from 2011. It established an additional $7 million in player benefits, including performance-based compensation.

While the Redskins‘ salary cap situation was under attack Monday, they cleared approximately $5 million by releasing safety Oshiomogho Atogwe and fullback Mike Sellers

Releasing Atogwe saves Washington $3.4 million in 2012, and he will not account for any dead money, according to a source with knowledge of his deal.

Atogwe, 30, failed during his only season with the Redskins to live up to his reputation as a ball hawk who consistently forces turnovers. The seven-year veteran was slowed by hamstring and knee injuries. He lacked explosiveness in changing directions and in making plays on the ball. He had three interceptions in 13 games (eight starts).

Sellers, 36, lost his starting job to Darrel Young last season and played mostly on special teams. The 12-year veteran was scheduled to make a base salary of $1.05 million in 2012.