Extra Points: Cutler, Harbaugh, Raiders

U.S. District Judge David Doty has been the arbiter of NFL labor matters for more than two decades but on Friday he recused himself from ruling on a dispute between NFL owners and the NFLPA over an alleged secret salary cap, writes Steve Karnowski of The Associated Press. The NFL Players Association alleges the league enforced a secret $123MM salary cap per club in 2010 when there was supposed to be no cap. In that year, the Cowboys and Redskins spent as though there was no cap but found themselves penalized anyway. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, the league probably wishes that Doty was still overseeing the trial. Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • Some have questioned the Bears‘ decision to give Jay Cutler a contract that averages $18.1MM per year, but two NFL scouts told Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette that Chicago made the right call. “If you don’t want to pay (Cutler), that’s fine,” one scout said. “Don’t pay him. But who are you going to play? You going to play (backup Jimmy) Clausen? You going to play Tim Tebow? What are you going to do? That’s the reality.”
  • Speculation looms about the University of Michigan going after 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, but sources tell Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (on Twitter) that they actually prefer Ravens coach John Harbaugh at this point.
  • The authority that runs the O.co Coliseum is nearing a decision to hire former Republican lawmaker Guy Houston to be its next executive director, hoping to inject new leadership into the negotiations to keep the Raiders and A’s in town and build new ballparks, several people with close knowledge of the talks tell Matt O’Brien of the Bay Area News Group.
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