The Miles Austin's contract that the Dallas Cowboys signed the wide receiver to back in 2010, included a $17 million base salary. That contract is now being cited as the the prime example and the reason why the Cowboys are being docked $10 million in payroll over the next two years.
Collusion is the reason these penalties came about in the first place, not because the Cowboys and the Washington Redskins, but because of the collusion between the other 30 teams in the NFL. This decision was rubber-stamp by the Commissioner and the NFLPA, thus making the penalty official. The NFL released a statement late Monday afternoon.
"The Management Council Executive Committee determined that the contract practices of a small number of clubs during the 2010 league year created an unacceptable risk to future competitive balance, particularly in light of the relatively modest salary cap growth projected for the new agreement's early years. 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. These agreed-upon adjustments were structured in a manner that will not affect the salary cap or player spending on a league-wide basis." - Greg Aiello, NFL Spokesman
In short, through all the legalese the NFL put out in the statement, the league sided with the majority although they didn't have a rule that was actually broken. Maybe Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder had this coming, but it seems that the "assets" that the two owners wield on a continual basis for their franchises ultimately became undermined by the other 30.
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