Dwight Freeney accuses NFL owners of collusion

Jim Rogash

Freeney thinks NFL owners had a secret agreement to not spend lots of money this offseason.

Defensive end Dwight Freeney agreed to a two-year contract with the San Diego Chargers in May, but believes the free agency process took longer than expected because NFL owners across the league made a hush-hush deal with each other to low-ball free agents this offseason, according to a report from Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com on Thursday.

This would otherwise be known as collusion, and it wasn't just Freeney thinking it. According to Freeman's report, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith told player agents in a letter to be wary of possible collusion amongst owners, as free agents became suspicious they were working together to keep contracts cheap. The NFLPA memo further alleges that teams may be falsifying the severity of their salary cap situations in order to justify offering a below-market asking price for veteran players.

Freeney laid it out pretty simply in the report:

"I basically think the owners got together and decided not to spend the cash on free agents. I definitely think that's part of it. I think the owners made a pact. There's only 32 of them and none of them broke ranks. I think they all decided not to spend money."

Freeney also says it wasn't the slow process that made him uneasy, it was the fact that his phone was dead quiet for too long. When it eventually rang, Freeney says, veterans like him were getting "take-it-or-leave-it"-type deals from teams. He also cited Baltimore Ravens defensive end/outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, the 29-year-old who inked a five-year contract that included $12 million in guaranteed cash, as a guy who "didn't make as much money as he should have."

An agent quoted in the article said, "I've been in this business for several decades and there was never an offseason like this. Never."

The NFL denied the accusations in the report.

More from SB Nation:

Can the Jets move forward?

Gronk needs surgery, Foster gets MRI

Rams must bend offense to fit Tavon Austin

The Maurice Jones-Drew incident: What actually happened?

Which AFC team could go from worst to first? | Which NFC team?

Behind the scenes with NFL rookies | More from the NFLPA Rookie Premiere

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.