When is a deal not a deal or at least not publicly a deal? Apparently, when it’s illegal.
That appears to be the case with the reported agreement between linebacker Justin Durant and the Cowboys.
ESPN reported earlier today that Durant to terms on a two-year deal with the Cowboys where he would compete for the starting job at strongside linebacker.
Durant even acknowledged being a Cowboy on Twitter, thanking the fans for well wishes, openly talking about playing in Dallas next year and even announcing he was going to have to learn the popular inner city dance “the South Dallas Swag”.
But here’s the catch: the Cowboys have no cap room with just $102,000 in space under the 2013 cap of $123 million and the deal is reportedly only a verbal agreement until money is made available.
Well, that latter part is illegal under collective bargaining agreement. And a Cowboys team, which is in cap hell because they were fined by the league last year for circumventing the salary cap in the past, doesn’t need the league messing with its finances again.
According to a league source, if there is an agreement on a contract, it must be disclosed, signed, approved by the league, etc.
It’s all in the CBA under ARTICLE 14: ENFORCEMENT OF THE SALARY CAP AND ROOKIE COMPENSATION POOL
Section 1. Undisclosed Terms: A Club (or a Club Affiliate) and a player (or a Player Affiliate or player agent) may not, at any time, enter into undisclosed agreements of any kind, express or implied, oral or written, or promises, undertakings, representations, commitments, inducements, assurances of intent, or understandings of any kind: (a) involving consideration of any kind to be paid, furnished or made available or guaranteed to the player, or Player Affiliate, by the Club or Club Affiliate either prior to, during, or after the term of the Player Contract; and/or (b) concerning the terms of any renegotiation and/or extension of any Player Contract by a player subject to a Franchise Player or Transition Player designation.
Suffice it say, the Cowboys are not talking acknowledging a deal with Durant. One source said there was no deal.
Durant seems to think otherwise.