Washington Redskins Penalized $36 Million for Salary Dumping

Seth SandlerContributor IIMarch 12, 2012

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
NFL Commissioner Roger GoodellJamie Squire/Getty Images

In surprising news, the Washington Redskins were fined $36 million dollars in salary-cap deductions over the next two years.

Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen released the following statement on the team's official website:

The Washington Redskins have received no written documentation from the NFL concerning adjustments to the team salary cap in 2012 as reported in various media outlets. Every contract entered into by the club during the applicable periods complied with the 2010 and 2011 collective bargaining agreements and, in fact, were approved by the NFL commissioner's office. We look forward to free agency, the draft and the coming football season.

Meanwhile, the information coming from the league was somewhat contradictory:

"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," the NFL said in a statement.

Depending on how this situation is resolved, the Redskins will go from having nearly $40 million in salary cap space to a little over $20 million in 2012.

This will still not prevent the team from signing three to four marquee free agents when free agency begins Tuesday, March 13.

According to an article on SportsIllustrated.com, the key reason the Redskins traded up for the No. 2 pick (and Robert Griffin III) before the start of free agency was to make the Redskins attractive to top-tier free-agent receivers. Even with the salary cap deduction, the Redskins will still be a sought-after destination by receivers like Vincent Jackson.

There is also confusion within the Redskins organization, since all 2010 trades and salaries were approved by the commissioner Roger Goodell