Let me start off that I am not a salary cap guru. Yesterday, it was all over Twitter and the comments section here a graphic depicting all the other teams that seeming front-loaded their players contracts as well. Julius Peppers, for one. There's also the debate in the uncapped year that teams like Tampa stayed below the cap floor, which is allowing them the luxury of affording all these large contracts (Carl Nicks, Vincent Jackson, and Eric Wright).
I am not defending the penalties levied on the Redskins, but there is a point that needs clarification. The Redskins did not front-load newly negotiated contracts into the uncapped year. They renegotiated existing contracts that were already on the books to dump future years' proration into the uncapped year. There is a big difference between the two.
And that makes sense. The Julius Peppers signing was a new contract in the uncapped year ($6.5 million signing bonus) whereas as the Redskins cleared money from Haynesworth and DHall's 2009 disastrous' deals.
The reason the Cowgirls got penalized is because in Miles Austin's new, 2010 contract, they gave him a $17million salary his first year with no signing bonus...thus avoiding a future cap hit that would be spread out.
What trumps everything though is the NFL office approved these Redskins contracts. How can they now say they're not valid? A possible excuse: "Oh yea, sorry. We fired the guy that messed that up. Not our fault."
The Redskins are already finding creative ways to get around their cap woes. I'm sure we'll be hearing more on this. Stay tuned.