Reports have surfaced today that there are four teams who are being punished for salary cap violations. The primary teams who the NFL will come down on are the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins who will both see salary cap money taken away. The other two teams who will be punished are the Raiders and the New Orleans Saints.
The way it will work is this. All four of the above mentioned teams are being punished for the way they structured contracts during the uncapped 2010 season. The punishment is for those four teams signing players and frontloading their contracts during the uncapped year to ease the burden during following seasons when there was to be a salary cap.
The Redskins and Cowboys are having a lot of cap money taken from them which will be redistributed to 28 other teams for an amount of $1.6 million per team. The only two teams that will not receive this added $1.6 million to their caps are the Raiders and the Saints who are being punished for what are considered more minor infractions.
The Redskins are receiving by far the worst punishment by losing around $36 million in cap space primarily for the way they structured the big deals they gave to Albert Haynsworth and DeAngelo Hall. The Cowboys will lose around $10 million in cap space. They were already close to the cap and these punishments essentially removes the possibility that either team will be big players in free agency this season. This loss in cap space can be spread over both 2012 and 2013.
To be clear, the Raiders and Saints will not have any cap space taken from them from the $120.6 million cap number that had already been revealed. But the remaining 28 teams will have a cap number of $122.2 million.
So while it doesn't change the Raiders cap situation, of which they are under it, it gives them a slight disadvantage in the free agent market versus most of the league.