Thursday in a Minneapolis court room, the trial will begin in the case of Reggie White et al., vs NFL which alleges that the NFL owners were colluding to keep salary caps at a certain level, including that the owners had a secret agreement to keep the cap at $123 million a year during 2010 when the league had no salary cap. The lawsuit alleges that such behavior has existed since the early 1990’s, and argues that owners have been working together to keep salaries low in the league. The lawsuit indicates that this collusion has cost the players billions of dollars in potential lost revenue over this frame. People have been discussing that the bounty gate and concussion problems would be the things that really hurt the NFL, but this new lawsuit brings a major issue for the league from a financial standpoint.
MLB owners were found guilty of collusion during parts of the free agency era, and were thus forced to pay back players, so this is not the first time this has potentially happened in North American professional sport.
The only way to challenge the salary cap punishments now, after they’ve gone through the collectively bargained appeals process, is to “re-interpret” the entire 1993 settlement that allowed for a salary cap in the NFL and punish the owners’ collusion to the tune of $4 billion in damages.
This could mean big problems. NFL owners are probably cringing as the Judge presiding over the trial will be David Doty, a judge who is known for having ruled in favor of the union several times in the past.
You can also read (and download) the lawsuit on another deadspin article here: http://deadspin.com/5912702/