Packers Awarded Extra Cap Space

There was no salary cap in 2010, but that doesn't mean the Redskins and Cowboys didn't break the rules. Because those teams' front-loading of contracts, the Packers are among 28 teams that were granted an additional $1.6 million in cap space.

The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins are losing millions of dollars in salary-cap space, the result of an NFL ruling over the way they structured contracts during 2010, when there was no cap, reported Monday.

Because so much of the money in those Cowboys and Redskins contracts was due at the front end of the contracts, the NFL will take away about $10 million in cap space from Dallas, while the Redskins lose could lose up to $36 million.

The salary cap for 2012 has been set at $120.6 million, so those are sizable deductions.

It may be possible for the Redskins and Cowboys to rework some of those contracts to reduce the hit put on their salary caps.

The teams also have the option of spreading that cap loss over the next two seasons.

In any case, according to the report, the two teams will have to pay about $1.6 million apiece to 28 other NFL teams. The New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders will not get any of that money, but they will not lose any cap space.

That means the Green Bay Packers are now $6,946,471 under the cap — good news that could help save free agents Scott Wells, Ryan Grant, Howard Green, Jarrett Bush, Pat Lee and Erik Walden.

The NFL issued a statement on Monday that attempts to explain the situation.

"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. To remedy these effects and preserve competitive balance throughout the league, the parties to the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) agreed to adjustments to team salary for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. These agreed-upon adjustments were structured in a manner that will not affect the salary cap or player spending on a league-wide basis."

Both the Cowboys and Redskins claimed they abided by the salary-cap rules.

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