Andrew Brandt, president and founder of The National Football Post lent his vast knowledge to Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier Wednesday in the twilight of the Redskins and Cowboys having their cases against the NFL turned away by the league arbitrator.
Not many experts bring the well-rounded take that Brandt does, having served as a player rep as well as Vice President of the Green Bay Packers for almost a decade, where he negotiated all player contracts and managed the salary cap.
He may have surprised D.C. listeners with some news about 106.7 The Fan’s own Lavar Arrington, in suggesting that during his time running the Packers, he may have outbid the Giants for the then free-agent linebacker’s services, only to be turned down for a personal vendetta.
“When Lavar came in there, he walked through my coaching staff and they were like begging ‘Get this guy!’. He was the most dynamic guy that they had seen and they were like high school girls. They were smitten. We went back and forth with the Poston brothers about Lavar and you know, I’m pretty sure – you never know for sure – but we offered more money than the New York Giants, but it was very important for him to get back at the Redskins and to play them twice.”
As you may know by now, the Redskins’ and Cowboys’ case against the NFL for being penalized for contract maneuvering during an uncapped year, was dismissed Tuesday by league arbitrator Stephen Burbank. Now, there was a lot of confusing language involved with that story, and quite frankly, most people have not been able to follow exactly what was happening, or why. Lucky for us, we had an expert in Brandt who could break it down, piece by piece, in plain English.
“The Redskins and Cowboys were warned as I heard, stridently and repeatedly, although verbally, about some maneuvering that they were doing. There were no written warnings. So that of course is Daniel Snyder and Jerry Jones’ biggest argument. There was nothing written that they couldn’t do what they did.”
Ok, so now we understand the reason for their case against the league, but what exactly did they do wrong during the lockout?
“It wasn’t really front-loading contracts, which is done all the time and even that year, for instance, the Chicago Bears front-loaded Julius Peppers’ contract. It was taking existing contracts, specifically Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall, that were done in 2008 and 2009, and through a technical maneuver with the cap, bringing forward future prorated, unadvertised amounts from 2011, ’12, ’13, ’14, into 2010 which had no cap, so they’d cleared the books to spend as they wish going forward. It was seen as something that put them at a competitive advantaged position after the uncapped year, and that they were warned against.”
The final point of confusions through this whole litigation process is what the amendment was that proved to be so deadly to the Redskins’ and Cowboys’ case, and why couldn’t they challenge it?
“March 27 at the owners’ meetings the NFL and Roger Goodell said ‘I’ve agreed with DeMaurice Smith, that we’re going to reallocate $46 million in cap room. We’re taking 36 from the Redskins and 10 from the Cowboys. And this is why we’re doing it.’ 29 owners except for the Redskins, Cowboys and Tampa Bay, which abstained, said ‘we agree’. Arbitrator Burbank saw that as an amendment to the CBA, therefore, the Cowboys and Redskins can’t challenge an amendment to the CBA through the arbitration process; it’s in there. Therefore, case dismissed.”
Well, if you’re still not sure whether that proves collusion or not, neither are we, but one thing is certain: If you want to go back and hear it for yourself to try to make some sense out of it, you can absolutely do it.