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Goodell Comments Shot Across Bow At Redskins


The Legend
Jul 19, 2009
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Bethesda Md
There is no doubt in my mind that Goodell's comments about continuing to investigate any and all evidence against the 'other' teams potentially involved in bounty-gate is a shot at the Redskins recent attempts with Dallas to go to mediation over the salary cap penalties levied against each franchise.

I believe there is ground here for the Redskins to win a lawsuit against the NFL because there is no rule in place that specified any penalties for taking the action the Redskins did in the uncapped year. In fact, the definition of the uncapped year and the mechanics of how the NFL was supposed to operate under an expired CBA (when it was drafted) produced exactly the results that one would expect to obtain.

Because the uncapped year prevented fourth year players from reaching free agency and potentially allowed richer teams in bigger markets to bring their financial resources to bear - it was looked at as a firewall in which both sides would back down from a stare-down and go into a year without a cap.

But it happened.

And all we see from the NFL is talk of the 'spirit' of the rules. But nowhere do we see any language WITHIN the rules that speaks to the point of reducing payroll rather than augmenting it with a host of free agent signings, which neither the Redskins nor the Cowboys did in 2010.

According to the rules the NFL was able to prevent those fourth year veterans from obtaining free agent status which protected the smaller market teams with less to spend, fine that's part of the equation in having the expired CBA. That part of the 'altering competitive balance' is OK as far as the NFL is concerned.

Why now are the other operations conducted during the uncapped year which work to the advantage of the larger market teams in the NFL all of a sudden considered a 'crime' ( and I use this term in the amusing way intended!)?

So, the hypocrisy and the flimsy facts at bar on which the NFL is depending don't even pass the laugh test.

HOWEVER, if the Redskins and Dallas are not willing to do what Al Davis did and threaten to go to litigation and have the NFL believe that threat, the current actions could end up counter-productive.

As long as the Redskins and Dallas refuse to use the 'nuclear' option or refuse to entertain that possibility publicly, and continue to operate within the general guidelines of the NFL and the NFL system, there is potential fallout for both teams.

As we saw from Goodell's press conference yesterday, the NFL is now hunting for bear.

If the Redskins and Dallas have the teeth to really fight the battle, I think they will win.

But I am concerned that in the end both owners will blink and the Mara/Rooney clique will end up winning this battle and the result will be even more impactful to the team than simply going along with what has transpired to date.
Here is something to know about the bounty situation. Roger Goodell is not going after the Redskins. His target is Gregg Williams and the commissioner hopes to acquire enough evidence to kick GW out of football forever.

Mr. Jones and Mr. Snyder are going for it on the Cap Crap. They are not afraid of anyone and they are not afraid to lose (even though they won't). They are allowing the league to save face - it is a move that will win them more friends in league circles.

I don't want to shoot down everything you are saying, but none of those things will come to pass.
I've got something for goodells mouth that rhymes with sock
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i think the nfl wants the idea of players being payed by NFL members (ie: coaches and GM's) to purposefully hurt other players to go away as quickly as possible because of the pending lawsuits, more of which are being filed. punishing the redskins doesn't make sense for the league. it punishes those who had nothing to do with it, while furthering the very thing they want to go away.

now, if they want to do it as retribution for fighting the cap stuff then maybe, but i still don't think it makes sense.
I don't agree that the threat of scrutiny or penalties for 'bountygate' could be effectively threatened in order to get the Redskins to quietly comply with the cap penalties. It that's the case, Goodell is an even dimmer bulb than recent events have lead me to believe he is :) If Goodell were to suddenly and aggressively start coming after the Redskins for 'bounty-related' crimes from the distant past, it's going to do nothing but forge an iron-clad case for the Redskins that not only is the NFL guilty of imposing penalties on non-existent violations, but that it's using retaliatory tactics to intimidate the Redskins into abandoning their rights to challenge bogus penalties.

At some point, this ceases being about the NFL's internal affairs, and becomes abusive management and labor practices that could not only land the NFL in court, but ultimately could put Goodell's job at risk.
my post disappeared, weird lol, im too lazy to repost it all but bottom line, 29 -one abstain? non against? yeah that doesnt suggest collusion at all, the contracts were allowed by the league, the league has to OK every contract, that alone damns the leagues case. then you add in the fact that several teams spent too little the argument could be made that they saved the money to use in free agency this season, thus GAINING A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
So, Boone let me get this straight. Owners that admit there was no written rule in place in the uncapped year but decided to penalize the Redskins anyway (and Mara indicated that some wanted draft picks as well as cap space penalty) are now going to wake up and smell the coffee in regards to punitive actions in re bounty-gate if the situation arises? :)

You are giving the NFL Management Council too much credit. In the end result it appears as if ALL the NFL owners have done in the past 30 days is reinforce the image of a monopoly that is not afraid to use coercive measures to assure that the base of their power as a group is not challenged in any way.

In his closing press conference at the NFL owners meeting, Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked if he had heard anything from Stephen Burbank, who will be the arbitrator in the the Redskins’ and Cowboys’ salary cap case and “what is an uncapped year supposed to be?”

The normally smooth Goodell stammered through his answer like a kid who was called on in class after he didn’t read the assignment. After a pregnant pause, he repeated back “what is an uncapped year” as if to gather his thoughts. He then said that he has not heard from Burbank and reiterated that the owners have voted to ratify the penalties.

In 2010 I think the rules were articulated. I’d have to go back and look at them again but the rules were quite clear. Whatever rules there were they were followed and whatever rules weren’t . . .

His voice then trailed off and he went on to the next question.
A rule to me is a writtten affirmation of a policy. It is not a handshake agreement made behind closed doors by a select group of individuals.

This is what happens when people act informally about business. This is why the first thing an attorney tells his client is to get the agreement in writing.

It seems clear in this case the owners wanted to go 'off the record' in agreeing to certain cap rules in the uncapped season which would not be written down or otherwise publicized to prevent the union from having another bargaining chip in re a potential collusion action against the NFL.

Again, for a multi-billion dollar business the actions of its owners who constitute the traditional 'board' in a company have been a joke from the get-go.

The NFL is succeeding in popularity DESPITE the antiquated and alienated methods of several of its most influential owner/members.

At some point the model itself will be called into question and the 'system' will have to change to survive.

We may be at the beginning of that process.
Agreed, BD. How the owners could not see that Jones and Snyder would never let this go is beyond me. Both have been chaffing under some of the revenue sharing rules for years now and firmly believe their teams are carrying other owners who refuse to put in as much work at promoting their teams and trying to improve their teams as either Jones or Snyder.
A visceral but true point was made by an NFL fan that observed on the ESPN website that there is a real divide now between those owners that inherited their teams from their families (Mara, Rooney, Irsay, Bidwill) and those who made their money outside of football and want the NFL to run internally more as a business enterprise (Snyder, Jones, Allen, Ross, etc.).

Over time the 'collective' informal agreements that the NFL has worked under for years will become unworkable as the underlying assumptions and values of the collective ownership will have changed in a more corporate climate.

The family owners see this coming and are very afraid of this type of takeover happening, hence their stern responses to the Redskins and Cowboys.

What was the old saying - a dictatorship is never as cruel as right before its fall? :)
the thing is, in the old days, everyone at least tried to do what was best for the LEAGUE, I dont get how ruining the skins and cowpies shot at getting better helps the league. ffs OUR money enables teams like the Giants and the steelers and packers to be better than they would be, the Giants for all the huge market they are in, don't make money the way the Pies and skins do.

the fact that some of those asshats were trying to get us punished MORE by including draft picks, pretty much says it all. If I am the redskins and cowboys I threaten to withdraw from the collective agreements entirely, why should we revenue share any more when its clear its not appreciated by the have nots.

I am actually pretty disgusted by the league right now, how this wasnt immediately picked up as collusion shows some serious behind the scenes work by the league.
Well, when one starts to deconstruct the entire league, I would add that seeing a 9-7 team like the Giants win the Super Bowl and beat teams that finished 15-1 and 13-3 along the way says to me that the NFL is moving away from 'must see' TV with drawn rivalries to a playoff system more like the NHL where the first or second seed rarely wins the Stanley Cup and all those regular season wins don't mean anything.

In the past what made the NFL great was that those few 12, 14 or 16 games MEANT SOMETHING, because few teams made the playoffs.

I recall when the Redskins made the playoffs in 1971 after being a loser for two decades, it was a real accomplishment and treated as such.

Now, making the playoffs is like changing your underwear.

Teams like the Giants or Steelers are 9-7 or 10-6, percentage winners that would not have made the playoffs 30 years ago at .540 or thereabouts.

Look at the Redskins who won 10 games in 1979, 1985 and 1989 and didn't make the playoffs in those seasons.

The NFL maintains that the product is better than ever BECAUSE a 9-7 team wins the Super Bowl and it adds to the unpredictability of the league.

I think just the opposite is true. I am glad the Redskins won the Super Bowl when they had a 14-2 season in 1991 and finished 17-2 overall including the postseason rather than in a year where they had finished 9-7 (1992) and got in by the scruff of their chinny-chin-chin.

But this is the bubble-gum league Goodell is selling and most people seem to be buying despite so many games being a competition of talent-less squads because of parity.
Bulldog's post is right on the money. Parity is the work of The Devil.
Well, I don't know about the Devil, but the way the league is constructed now you can be 6-7 after 13 games and still have legitimate hopes of making the playoffs and winning the Super Bowl.

How many teams in the NBA that are under .500 three quarters of the way through the season have a legit shot at a title?

Again, it's really only the NHL where regular season records have traditionally meant next to nothing and a team like the Flyers or Montreal can stink most of the season only to catch fire at the end as we saw the past two years and make noise in the playoffs.

And then they wonder why on a given night in the middle of the week there are 11,000 fans in a 19,000 seat stadium to watch an NHL regular season contest.

Because for the most part one game is meaningless.
I think the fact that you only have to win 4 games against 4 different opponents in single elimination has as much to do with it as "parity" does, Bulldog. In the NBA or NHL you have two win 4 games just to move to the next round.

And injuries play a much bigger roll in the NFL then they do in either the NBA or the NHL. In both those leagues, you bench guys play every night and often play big minutes. In the NFL, the only time you take a core guy out is if he is hurt and it isn't uncommon for injuries to just not heal till after a season is over.

There just isn't any legit way to compare the NFL to any other pro sport in terms of winning the whole thing.
Do not knock Parity and the extra interest it brings.

Honestly take a look at European Soccer to see what happens without it.

Off the top of my head I think only in Germany does more that 3 teams have a chance at winning anything before a ball is kicked.

Parity brings interest and with it comes media revenue. Like it or not Parity sells the NFL more than you think.
I dont' think the issue is so much about mediocre regular season teams winning championships, but about the expanded playoff format. The only way the league could address the purists' lament about keeping teams like the '11 Giants out of the big game would be to reduce the playoff field and make regular season records more important again. Ain't gonna happen.

And I'm not sure it should, really. I agree with the league's position (even if it's justification only) that the expanded format, and thus the expanded potential playoff field until late in the season, is a good thing. If for no other reason that as a fan in any given city, even in a mediocre regular season your chances of seeing your team in the playoffs extend further inTO the season. There is nothing more depressing than heading in November already eliminated and just playing out the string.

I also suggest that the "no more dynasties" lament isn't quite accurate. The 90's saw the damn Cowboys win multiple titles...the 00's saw the Patriots create a "dynasty"...and it's entirely possible that the 10's will as also. Packers anyone? RG3skins? :)

I actually think it's fine that the wildcard teams can get hot and win it all...mostly because teams like the Steelers and Giants who DID that were worthy champions...their regular seasons were average, but they pulled it together and went on playoff runs that only damn good teams are capable of. Big Ben and Eli are worthy franchise QB's. Both teams play great defense. Both are well coached. Is either a "dynastic" team? No, probably not, although is the Giants manage to win another in the next couple of years, people might start to view them a little differently. But you'd be hard pressed to argue that they were flukes either.

At any rate....my guess is, if the 2012 Redskins, with their rookie hotshot QB, head into week 13 at 6-6 and jockeying for a wildcard spot--navigating though an "average" regular season attributable to a rookie QB's learning curve and whatever injuries and bad bounces add to the mix--few Redskins fans, purist or otherwise, are going to have a problem with the current league structure keeping their hopes of January football alive.
The point is though that the Steelers and Giants would not have had the chance to make noise in the playoffs because their regular season record would have been enough to eliminate them.

Teams like the 1985 and 1989 Redskins didn't make the playoffs with 10 win campaigns, but it was correct that the 15-1 Bears and 14-2 49ers didn't have to play the Redskins in the playoffs because they hadn't done enough to deserve being there.

Today you have the 7-9 Seahawks in the playoffs and other clubs that were outscored during the regular season in.

It works for fans of those teams but not for the overall product.
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Bulldog, it was possible, even in those days, for a team with a 9-7 record to make the playoffs by winning the division (as the Giants did). And there are only two more teams making it today then made it back then. Now you have 4 division winners and 2 wildcards as opposed to 3 division winners and 2 wildcards back in 85 and 89.

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