The "spirit" is about artificially lowering the cap hit, which Kovy's contract did enormously. The league set out rules to make sure those contracts couldn't get as crazy out of hand as they did and this contract doesn't violate those rules, so by that "spirit" the contract is fine.
Prior teams have tried to jack up front ends of contracts to make sure RFA contracts aren't matched. Since the league never specifically banned the practice, even after the fact, in the next CBA's then they're obviously ok with them.
There is basically no chance a judge would overturn this deal with the explicit rules now in place.
Again, the term "spirit" is way too vague to be limited to one thing. Yes, the Kovy deal didn't violate any written rules at the time, but it violated the "spirit", so they wrote a rule that defined the part of the spirit they violated. In one way, the spirit is violated when teams artificially lower cap hits with back-end, small-money years.
But in a whole new way, the spirit is most definitely also violated when big market teams price small market teams out with gigantic bonuses up front. The point of a cap is to keep all markets on a level playing surface, and just like the artifical cap-lowering violated a previously undefined aspect of the "spirit", so does the use of huge up-front bonuses.
This offer from Philly doesn't violate the currently defined "spirit". I'm not arguing that. But it absolutely violates the very point of a salary cap. All I'm saying is that, just like they had to clearly spell out how the Kovy deal violated the spirit, they now need to clearly spell out how this Weber offer violates the spirit.
The precedent has already been set that just because a contract doesn't violate anything currently written doesn't make it invalid.