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Redskins argue against cut to cap

- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Washington Redskins disputed the NFL's $36 million salary cap penalty against them during an arbitration hearing Tuesday in Philadelphia.

It is not clear when arbitrator Stephen Burbank will rule in the case or if there will be another hearing.

"We got to present some of our issues, and the league presented some of their issues, and we'll leave it at that," general manager Bruce Allen said Tuesday evening. "I think we just have to let the process play out. We wanted to present our case, and we were able to present."

The NFL declined to comment. Proceedings are confidential until a decision is finalized, as stipulated by the collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players union.

On the eve of the new league year in March, the Redskins were docked a total of $36 million in salary cap space over the next two seasons for moving expensive contracts into the uncapped 2010 season. The league considered it an attempt to gain a competitive advantage.

The Redskins had little more than $18 million subtracted from the $31 million in salary cap space with which they expected to enter 2012. The rest of the penalty is scheduled to affect their 2013 cap.

The Dallas Cowboys, who were penalized $10 million for similar practices, joined the Redskins at the arbitration hearing Tuesday.

Some NFL owners were displeased by how the Redskins and Cowboys restructured contracts to dump salary into the uncapped 2010 season even though neither team was found to have violated the collective bargaining agreement, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The league retroactively penalized the Redskins and Cowboys despite approving those contracts at the time.

"I thought the penalties imposed were proper," John Mara, New York Giants owner and chairman of the NFL Management Committee, told reporters at the NFL annual meetings in late March. "What they did was in violation of the spirit of the salary cap. They attempted to take advantage of a one-year loophole, and quite frankly, I think they're lucky they didn't lose draft picks."

Allen spoke to media Tuesday evening after the Redskins launched their 80th anniversary campaign at an event inside the team's new indoor practice facility.

The Redskins unveiled throwback uniforms they plan to wear during two home games in 2012. They are a modern interpretation of the franchise's 1937 uniform. The helmets are designed to look like they are made of brown leather.

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