And if there are people out there who believe (as I do) that the NFL has acted with irresponsible, petty arrogance in this case and imposed unjustified penalties against teams that broke no actual rules, Mara's stance isn't likely to change their minds.
There was no salary cap in 2010. This is a fact. Mara repeatedly brushed that aside during questioning Sunday, irritated at the fact's mere existence. "We've had a cap for 29 of the last 30 years," he said more than once, and he explained rather clearly that teams were told, more than once, to watch the way they spent money and structured contracts during the uncapped 2010 season. He basically admitted to what, in any other business, would be collusion and grounds for an antitrust lawsuit. But he bristled at the mention of that word, too, saying, "This has nothing to do with collusion. It has to do with teams attempting to gain a competitive advantage through a loophole in the system. They attempted to take advantage of it knowing full well there would be consequences."
What we know about this case is that the NFL basically engaged in a sanctioned form of collusion in 2010, telling its teams that yeah, there was no cap, but that they needed to act as though there were one because they were sure the cap would come back and it was wrong to use this "loophole" as a means of gaining an advantage against the cap in future years. Mara admitted all of that Sunday, and he did so in a way that strongly indicates he believes himself to be on the correct side of the argument.
But he is not, of course. And in more ways than one, he is very much in the wrong.