Originally Posted by bkight13
The League DIDN'T punish the teams for spending money and the warnings were not about not spending money. They were about how the contracts were written and how the money was dispersed. The teams knew, like the rest of the league that a salary cap was coming back and not to disperse the money in a way that would give them an unfair advantage. It had nothing to do with HOW MUCH money was given.
The Redskins and Cowboys were free to spend $200M on salaries that year. But they knew that those contracts were going to come back to bite them later. The Boys chose to finagle Austin's deal and the Skins used it as an opportunity to shed some terrible contracts. They broke the rules and got a slap on the wrist for it.
You are doing the same thing that the NFL does when they go to court with the semantic tap dancing. 'We did not punish them for spending money. We punished them for the structure of their contract.'
The SCOTUS has rejected this exact line of thinking not just once but three times that I can think of most recently with their case against their old uniform manufacturer.
SCOTUS does not care what you call something when it is outside of contract law. Again in this case their was no legal contract between any of the parties involved. As such they look at what something actually does.
There are several per se violations to Sherman Antitrust Act in what they did. Price fixing, artificial contract parameters, and horizontal market actions amongst independent firms is a big big no-no.
It's widely held that if Snyder or Jones at any points seeks the authority of the court in this matter for assistance that the NFL would be handed it's on a silver platter. Various federal judges have espoused on the NFL's blatant contempt towards their rulings.
I still hold out hope that Snyder will got that route. I would love to see Goodell and Mara censured by the high court for the public to see. That is precisely why Jones and Snyder have not acted as it would undermine the NFL brand.
What they did was nonetheless illegal and the DoJ if they so chose could bring suit and would easily win if they chose to intervene. The NFL had absolutely no right to do what they did.
What will be interesting is that the NFLPA has brought suit over this matter and the court has already thrown out the NFL's attempt to assert the contract language that absolves them of former collusion. It was pretty clear the the CBA was made under duress with the NFL acting in bad faith.
We may yet see Mara and Goodell shamed.