Redskins general manager Bruce Allen addressed the media at Redskins Park this afternoon, discussing the $36 million salary cap penalty levied against the team one year ago.
"Let me first discuss the facts that I have learned over the last year, in what I have called a travesty of fairness," Allen began. "One year ago at this time, we learned from player agents and the media that the NFL and the NFLPA had reached an agreement to take $36 million of our cap room."
The announcement of the penalties was made by the NFL on the day before the start of 2012 free agency, after the Redskins had already committed to a franchise tag and restricted free agent tenders.
Allen emphasized that there was no warning that the team would be punished at any point leading up to the official announcement.
"Contrary to some of the public comments that I've seen from [Giants owner John Mara] the chairman of the NFL's [Management Council Executive Committee], commissioner Roger Goodell and all NFL lawyers, we did not violate any NFL rule or regulation in 2010 and 2011," he explained. "Also contrary to the rumors and off-the-record conversations that NFL people have had with various people in the media, the Redskins were never warned that the NFL and NFLPA would reach an agreement two years later to punish us.
"Let me be crystal-clear on this point: there was no trial, there was no hearing, there was no back-room discussions involving the Washington Redskins. We learned about the salary cap penalties from agents and the media."
Allen said that the timing of the announcement, coupled with the lack of explanation from the governing bodies, has caused the club to pursue every tangible avenue of recourse over the last year.
"Despite the fact that the NFL and NFLPA supposedly represent all of the clubs and all the players in the league, we don't feel that we were fairly represented in this case," he said. "As we stated before, and has been confirmed by the NFL, every contract we submitted, to the NFL and NFLPA during the 2010 season was reviewed and approved.
"Unfortunately, we've heard four different stories on how the $36 million was arrived at between the NFL and the NFLPA, therefore we do not have an answer yet."
Allen reviewed some of the arguments against the Redskins in this case, including the specific rationale of a violation of competitive balance.
"We were just coming off of our fourth-consecutive season with a fourth-place finish in the NFC East. The New York Giants were reigning Super Bowl Champions," Allen noted. "According to documents supplied by NFL lawyers to an arbitrator, the Redskins were 18th in the league in salary cap room for the 2012 season, and we had just announced that we had made a trade with the St. Louis Rams for the No. 2 [draft] choice, overall.
"I can't really speculate where people were coming from on those penalties, I only know the end result."
Allen assured the media and fans that the team would continue to pursue every available, acknowledging that the organization had never considered litigation as an option.
"We would like to know the truth. We're using $36 million less than everyone else," he said. "We feel comfortable as a football team and where we're at as we get ready for this season, but we will always look at our options."
With free agency set to begin tomorrow afternoon, Allen said the club has a plan in place to build the best roster for 2013 and improve on their NFC East Championship season.
"Although the NFL and NFLPA agreement was made to somehow slow our progress, I'm very proud of our football team and organization, for what we were able to accomplish last year in a winning fashion," he said. "I want to assure you and our fans right now that our coaches and players are doing everything they can to improve on last year's performance.
He concluded: "In the same manner as last year, we are not going to allow this to be a distraction for our football team for the upcoming season. We're excited about the upcoming free agency that starts tomorrow, and are looking forward to next month's draft."