This is not exclusively Redskins related though it is a potentially important league-wide matter. PFT is leading the charge on one of their many moral crusades against the NFL. I say that only half-flippantly, because if what is being alleged is true, then I agree principally with PFT's position.
What's the poison pill?
Lest there be any doubt, the CBA plainly outlaws such an arrangement. Per Article XXIII, Section 1 of the amended CBA: "No Club . . . shall enter into any agreement, express or implied, with the NFL or any other Club . . . to restrict or limit individual Club decision-making . . . concerning the terms or conditions of employment offered to any player for inclusion, or included, in a player contract."
"They may have violated the CBA rule that says one club can't offer the player's former team anything that would [sway] that team from matching their offer," the source said. "Anti-collusion [rule], that's another thing that may come into play."
I don't know how I can possibly relate this directly to the Redskins, so I'll try and fail. Remember when we stole Chad Morton from the Jets? It was ruled that the Jets had failed to match our offer for Morton because of a "voidable clause" portion of the contracts that did not match. We offered voidable years and the Jets didn't. Clear cut case of a failure to match according to my Burgundy and Gold colored glasses. Anyways, I don't think a "voidable clause" is much of a poison pill, but in so far as it made the Jets reluctant to match, you could consider it as such. Redskins related quotient met.
I don't want NFL teams colluding, but what a difficult thing to prove. I doubt any owners would be stupid enough to contractually agree or even explicitly state publicly that they wouldn't use the poison pill collectively to prevent a higher inflation of player salaries than would occur without. And that seems to my non-legal mind the only way to arbitrate against them. And the Sun-Sentinel suggests as much as well:
"When it comes to anti-tampering and collusion in regards to players, generally the league looks the other way and hands out a slap on the wrist unless the player's agent gets all frustrated and thinks their player has been devalued," the agent said. "If the player's happy with the offer and the teams are happy, the league's stance is, `Let's move on.''
I understand the concern; if poison pills are in the equation players will potentially get paid more. But this wasn't the case with Hutchison (as far as I can tell) as the poison pill made him more expensive for Seattle but not for Minnesota, hence why he ended up in Minnesota. I also do not know if Wes Welker is worth 38M or 18M or whatever; ultimately the market determines what's available and the player chooses from among available contracts. And in this case that's exactly what happened, right?
Do I think the owners have a general, informal(ish) agreement not to poison pill one another? Yea, of course I do. They meet behind closed doors and it wouldn't surprise me in the least that some shouting and mean words were exchanged regarding the poison pill in those meetings. But collusion becomes a crime only once it's proven. And it just seems like a difficult thing to prove to my non-legal mind. If any reader(s) are informed at all about this topic I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions, as I'm fascinated with the seedy legal aspect of NFL Contract negotiations. Do reader(s) think the owners have an informal agreement? Am I being too cynical?