In what has to be considered a huge win for Roger Goodell and the National Football League, special master Stephen Burbank has dismissed the grievance filed by the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys after the removal of $46 million in total cap space from the two teams by the NFL, according to Jeff Darlington of NFL.com. The imposed salary cap reductions were brought down on the Redskins and Cowboys because of the way they structured contracts during the uncapped (2010) season.
League counsel Jeff Pash told assembled reporters earlier this morning that Burbank had dismissed the case, but no reason has yet been given. One has to think the fact that the penalty was signed off on by the players union had a bearing on Burbank's decision.
Back in March, I wrote that I didn't understand all the fuss over this story. The Cowboys and Redskins were told privately not to do something—and they did it. The NFL warned them not to, but Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder just couldn't help themselves. They have now been punished for doing so.
Of course, helping the NFL's case is the fact that the NFLPA signed off on the punishments. Had the NFL acted without consultation from the players who would have lost out on the loss of cap space, then Burbank may have viewed things quite differently, but as it stands, with both parties fully on board, the arbitrator obviously didn't think much of the Cowboys' and Redskins' cases.
This all seems pretty damn simple to me, but you can bet we will now be treated to indignation from all walks of the NFL media landscape telling us what an overreach this is by the NFL and how Burbank's decision is terrible, etc, etc.
Nothing could be further from the truth.