Just hours before the 2012 free agency period began, the NFL penalized the Redskins with a $36 million salary cap charge spread over two years, this year and next year, for free agent contracts signed during the uncapped 2010 season. The Redskins are trying to use comments made by Giants co-owner John Mara as motivation tonight.
Mara, the chairman of the NFL's management committee, was among those who led the charge to take away $36 million worth of salary-cap space from the Redskins this past offseason.
In an article that was posted on ESPN.com on March 25, Mara was quoted as saying, "I think (the Redskins) are lucky they didn't lose draft picks" and "I thought the penalties imposed were proper."
In the days leading up to the Giants-Redskins game on "Monday Night Football," Washington coaches and officials had Mara's quotes hanging on sheets of paper on their office doors, according to team sources.
Based on the quotes, the Redskins are convinced that Mara tried to have enough draft picks taken away so that Washington couldn't complete its deal with St. Louis for the rights to select quarterback Robert Griffin III.
I think it is very likely Mara was trying to stop the Redskins from doing precisely what everyone in the NFL knew they were trying to do. My real problem with the entire affair is that it was an obvious case of self-dealing. as Mara, who had a hand in the final punishment handed down to the Skins, had an incentive to see his division rival punished as harshly as possible.
As for whether this quote will motivate the Redskins players, that seems unlikely to me. This is a huge game for the Redskins and if they can't get geeked up for this game, there is no hope for this bunch. Besides, did the coaches use this quote before the first Redskins-Giants game this year? If so, I never heard about it.