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NFL Notebook

Cowboys, Redskins flagged

Overspending will prove costly

Associated Press / March 13, 2012
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The Redskins and Cowboys will pay the price for overspending during the uncapped 2010 season.

Two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press Monday that the Cowboys and Redskins will lose salary cap space over the next two seasons because they paid exorbitant amounts two years ago to get more spending room for the upcoming season. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because the league did not identify the teams.

Both teams say they complied with NFL rules during the uncapped year.

ESPN reported that the Redskins will lose $36 million in space, and the Cowboys will forfeit $10 million. This year’s salary cap is $120.6 million, up only $250,000 over last year.

The NFL said in a statement that “a small number of clubs during the 2010 league year created an unacceptable risk to future competitive balance, particularly in light of the relatively modest salary cap growth projected for the new agreement’s early years.’’

To fix that, the league said adjustments are being made to teams’ salaries for the next two years. The NFL did not identify the teams, but the people familiar with the reductions said Dallas and Washington are the only clubs affected.

“The Dallas Cowboys were in compliance with all league salary cap rules during the uncapped year,’’ the team said through spokesman Rich Dalrymple. “We look forward to the start of the free agency period where our commitment to improving our team remains unchanged.’’

The Redskins’ statement from general manager Bruce Allen said the team had not received written notification from the NFL of a salary cap adjustment for 2012.

“Every contract entered into by the club during the applicable periods complied with the 2010 and 2011 collective bargaining agreements and, in fact, were approved by the NFL commissioner’s office,’’ he said. “We look forward to free agency, the draft, and the coming football season.’’

With free agency starting Tuesday, Washington is about $40 million under this year’s cap. The Redskins saved more than $3 million in cap room Monday when they released cornerback Oshiomogho Atogwe - one of their big free agent signings from last year - and fullback Mike Sellers.

Dallas is about $5 million under the cap.

Titans woo Manning

A person familiar with the situation said the Titans will be visiting with four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning in his search for a new team. ESPN.com first reported Titans coach Mike Munchak will meet with Manning after a session with Miami coach Joe Philbin.

The person spoke to the AP Monday about Manning’s meeting with the Titans on the condition of anonymity because the location and time of that meeting remains confidential. Titans owner Bud Adams made it known Sunday he will do whatever it takes to sign Manning to get back to the playoffs and win his team’s first Super Bowl.

Adams told The Tennessean he had talked to Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, asking for a visit with the quarterback.

Manning has plenty of connections to Tennessee. He starred at the University of Tennessee, leading to his first name becoming a popular choice for newborns in this state. His wife is from Memphis, and Manning already knows the Titans’ facility a bit, having practiced against Tennessee a few years ago when the Colts came to town for some joint practices.

“I want Manning,’’ Adams told The Tennessean. “I’d love to see him in Titan blue after watching him so many years with the Colts . . . I want him.’’

The Titans already have veteran Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker, picked with the No. 8 overall selection in the 2011 draft. But Hasselbeck is due $5.5 million in salary this year after getting a chunk of his deal last season.

So far, Manning has met only with the Broncos and Cardinals.

49ers sign Moss

A person with knowledge of the negotiations said receiver Randy Moss signed with the 49ers. The former Patriot agreed to a one-year deal with the reigning NFC West champions, according to a person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the club had yet to make a formal announcement. Moss, 35, who worked out last week with Saints, spent a year out of football . . . The Jets signed nose tackle Sione Pouha to a three-year deal. “First and foremost, I’m ecstatic and excited,’’ said the 33-year-old Pouha said. “This is something I always wanted.’’ Financial terms were not disclosed . . . The Jaguars have signed offensive tackle William Robinson, keeping him off the free agent market. Jacksonville claimed the 6-foot-5-inch, 297-pound lineman off waivers from New Orleans on Dec. 29, 2011 . . . Saints owner Tom Benson and coach Sean Payton have met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who will decide the team’s punishment for its bounty program from 2009-11. The Saints said Benson and Payton requested Monday’s meeting with Goodell. Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams - who is now with the Rams - met last week with NFL investigators looking into the bounty system he ran in New Orleans. Thousands of dollars in payoffs went to players for hits that knocked targeted opponents out of games. The NFL said the amounts reached their height in 2009, the season the Saints won the Super Bowl. Punishments could include suspensions, fines, and loss of draft picks.

Tender moments

The Bears tendered a qualifying offer to restricted free agent running back Kahlil Bell. The move means Chicago can match any offer from another team. Bell made three starts last season and appeared in 13 games, running for 337 yards on 79 carries. He has 557 yards rushing on 119 attempts in three seasons . . . The Bills retained the rights to offensive linemen Chad Rinehart and Kraig Urbik by tendering them contract offers . . . The 49ers tendered one-year contracts to exclusive rights free agent cornerback and special teams player Tramaine Brock and restricted free agent linebacker Larry Grant . . . The Raiders plan to release tight end Kevin Boss just one year into his four-year, $16 million contract, according a person with knowledge of the team’s decision who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the move. Boss had just 28 catches for 368 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games . . . Lions receiver Nate Burleson agreed to have his $4 million base salary for this year converted into a $3.125 signing bonus to save the team $2.17 million in salary cap space. Quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh reportedly have reworked their deals as well to assist the team’s efforts in free agency . . . The Saints agreed to terms on a one-year contract with quarterback Chase Daniel. Daniel, a former Heisman trophy finalist with Missouri, has been with the Saints since 2009 and has been Drew Brees’s backup since 2010 . . . The Chiefs re-signed defensive lineman Amon Gordon, a 30-year-old veteran who played in all 16 games last season.

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