It’s the off-season. There’s no football on, and there won’t be for a long, long time. You’re hurt. You’re angry. You’re hateful. We understand. At KSK, hating things is what we do best. Which is why we have the ongoing series This Week In F–K You. This week: DeMaurice Smith.
It brings us no joy to say after rooting him on through last year’s protracted battle against Roger Goodell, his NFL owner buddies, Rog-fluffer Peter King and a small legion of racist ProFootballTalk commenters, but DeMaurice Smith can get fucked. Royally, rawly, rectally fucked. Yesterday, it was announced that Smith has been re-elected as the NFLPA executive director and received a $1 million bonus from the union to go along with his new term. Which is great for him, but might suck for those of you who don’t like things like ownership collusion, because that’s pretty much what De Smith signed off on with the ridiculous Redskins/Cowboys cap penalty.
From Jason Cole of Yahoo!:
This is the case because the NFL was essentially able to strong-arm the NFLPA into accepting collusion in exchange for concessions on the salary cap. While some people, including current and former players, believe Smith agreed to it to protect his reputation with the players as he faced re-election this week, the issue runs deeper.
Yeah, the owners are assholes for trying to use this year’s cap figure as a fulcrum to get underhanded bullshit approved, but the owners are always shitheads. Faced with obviously criminal dealings, you’d like to think the union might bother to put up a fight.
Instead, Smith and the NFLPA agreed to allow collusion among the owners to pass because not doing so would have meant the league-wide team salary cap would have been roughly $3 million to $7 million lower than the $120.6 million it ended up being, which would have led to discontent among some veteran players likely on the chopping block by teams needing to get below the lower figure. Pissed off players, some argue, meant less of a chance for Smith’s re-election, though Smith ran unopposed in his bid for re-election, soooo probably not. Whatever the motivation, Smith still signed off on the owners collusion party against teams who spent extravagantly during a period where there was no express rule against so. And that’s FUCKED. Beyond just unfairly slamming two owners (albeit fuckhead ones) exploiting a fair opportunity, it’s a slimy tactic aimed at keeping player salaries down across the board.
Beyond that, if the union won after what would have been a lengthy battle (the famous 1988 baseball collusion case took two years to settle), the damages from the $46 million penalty might have been less than the increase in the cap for this season.
â€œThis goes against everything that we negotiated for in [the past]â€ a player said, referring to the previous CBA and subsequent extensions. â€œThe owners were supposed to live with the realities of the uncapped season. That was supposed to make them afraid to go uncapped. Now, theyâ€™re telling the big spenders, â€˜You were really bad boys, weâ€™re going to punish you.â€™ What the [expletive]? What kind of fear are they going to have in the future?â€
â€œCouldnâ€™t you argue that teams that saved all this money by not spending are helping themselves out artificially by saving room to spend later?â€ the agent said. â€œThe only teams being punished are the big spenders and thatâ€™s because the league wants to hold down salaries.â€
The spending habits of Dallas and Washington appear to have had a ripple effect throughout the league. For instance, the contract Dallas gave to wide receiver Miles Austin in 2010 contributed to the 2011 â€œfranchiseâ€ tag salary of $11.4 million for former San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson.
This year, the Chargers were faced with having to pay $13.7 million if they wanted to franchise Jackson again, and the team declined. Privately, the Chargers blamed Dallas over the Austin contract for causing San Diego to lose Jackson.
When it comes to the CBA, the union is ready to roll up its sleeves and take the fight to the Supreme Court, if need be. But a clear violation of anti-trust laws? “Well, I dunno, a couple old veterans who have been in the league a while might lose their jobs or have to take a temporary pay cut.” This isn’t a problem that’s just going to go away, as no doubt Jerry’s and Snyder’s lawyer armadas are gonna fight the hell out of the decision, so it could very well come back to bite all parties involved down the road. Which it should, ’cause all of this is shit.
And not that we expect or would even tolerate Smith displaying favoritism toward his favorite team, but De Smith is a well know ‘Skins fan. He just screwed his own team! On one hand, HAHA REDSKINS. On the other, if this collusion shit is allowed to fly uncontested, it’s probably only a matter of time before your team gets reamed for stepping out of line, even when it isn’t even against the rules to do so.
[pic via Getty]