ESPN and the Sports Business Journal are reporting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is close to an agreement on a new five-year extension.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported a committee chaired by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank has been in negotiations with Goodell since May. The sources also told Schefter there are some who think the two sides were closer to a deal a month ago than they are today.
Goodell’s current contract runs through 2019. The new agreement would keep him on the job through 2024, according to the Sports Business Journal’s Daniel Kaplan.
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Kaplan reports Goodell’s new deal would be structured like his current deal which includes “a few million in base salary with bonuses yet to determined”. He has made more than $212.5 million in his first decade as commissioner.
Goodell’s extension is likely to be approved but not everyone is on board.
National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) executive director DeMaurice Smith criticized Goodell’s unilateral power when it comes levying punishment in a recent interview on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel”. Smith said this could be a sticking point when the league’s current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expires after the 2020 season.
“Could (Goodell’s power) be an issue of bargaining going forward? Yes,” Smith said. “It is up to the players and our leadership to decide how much weight to put on it? Absolutely.”
Goodell began his career with the NFL as an intern in 1982. He worked in the New York Jets’ public relations department in 1983 before returning to the NFL front office in 1984. Goodell worked in the league’s public relations department where he was in charge of distributing media credentials for postseason games.
Goodell eventually worked his way to executive vice president and chief operating officer under former commissioner Paul Tagliabue in 2001. He was in charge of the league’s football operations and officiating and oversaw all league business matters.
Goodell beat out a number of candidates for commissioner when Tagliabue retired in 2006. His negotiation for the current CBA made tons of money for the league’s owners and the primary reason why his extension will eventually be approved.
At the same time, Goodell did himself no favors by butting heads with two of the NFL’s most powerful and influential owners.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was incensed over the way Goodell handled the Deflategate affair and the four-game suspension of quarterback Tom Brady. Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was recently suspended six games for violation of the league’s personal conduct policy, a move that reported made Cowboys owner Jerry Jones furious.