Washington Redskins management has chafed and fumed about the $36 million salary cap penalty the league imposed on the club last March. And now that the sanction has handcuffed the Redskins through the first week of free agency this year, there figure to be some cold stares, awkward exchanges and general tension this week at the NFL annual meetings at the posh Arizona Biltmore resort.
Remember, it was at these meetings last year when New York Giants owner John Mara, chairman of the league’s management council, which spearheaded the penalty, told reporters the Redskins violated “the spirit of the salary cap” during the uncapped 2010 season. “Quite frankly, I think they’re lucky they didn’t lose draft picks,” he said.
The Redskins would have much preferred to give up draft picks than $36 million. Instead, they watched another free agent target sign elsewhere Saturday.
Cornerback Aqib Talib re-signed with the New England Patriots on a one-year, $5 million contract, leaving Washington’s needs in the secondary unaddressed. The Redskins pursued Talib but “cap issues really hurt them,” a person familiar with negotiations said.