MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The NFL Players Association filed a complaint in federal court Wednesday, accusing the league of colluding to impose a secret salary cap during the uncapped 2010 season.
The claim was filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, which oversees the Reggie White settlement covering NFL labor matters.
The complaint claims a “conspiracy” to set a $123 million salary cap for the 2010 season, when owners did not have the authority to do so. The Cowboys and Redskins have had their future salary caps lowered for overspending in 2010, Dallas by $10 million over two seasons, Washington by a whopping $36 million.
Both teams lost a grievance against those reductions on Tuesday.
In response to the reopening of the Reggie White lawsuit, the NFL said, “There was no collusion. There was no agreement. These claims are totally unfounded.”
A league statement said the collective bargaining agreement signed last August to end the 4½-month lockout prohibited the filing of these claims, and that players’ attorneys signed a separate agreement agreeing to the terms.
“The claims have absolutely no merit and we fully expect them to be dismissed,” the NFL statement said. “On multiple occasions, the players and their representatives specifically dismissed all claims, known or unknown, whether pending or not, regarding alleged violations of the 2006 CBA and the related settlement agreement. We continue to look forward to focusing on the future of the game rather than grievances of a prior era that have already been resolved.”
In other words, the NFL has considered the 2010 uncapped season a closed matter ever since the new labor deal was signed last summer. Clearly, the players do not.