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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Had Pay Triple in 2011 to Nearly $30 Million

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 04:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during the Super Bowl XLVII Team Winning Coach and MVP Press Conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on February 4, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterFebruary 15, 2013

The players might be split in their opinion of Roger Goodell, but the owners absolutely love him, nearly tripling his compensation in 2011 to $29.49 million for 2011. 

It's very good to be the commish

Sports Business Daily reports NFL owners granted Goodell a pay bump that made him the highest-paid commissioner in sports. 

NFL owners nearly tripled Commissioner Roger Goodell’s compensation in '11, paying him $29.49M and likely making him the top paid commissioner in sports. The figure is in the league’s tax return, which the NFL is scheduled to file with the IRS by the end of the day Friday. Most of the pay is in the form of a $22.3M bonus, a compensation structure that will continue into the future. Goodell’s pay is now more closely tied to his performance and not largely derived from a set salary, which was $3.12M in '11. He earned $11.6M total in '10.

As the report reminds us, Goodell led the league in negotiations during a lengthy lockout at the time. By the end of the year, there was a "10-year labor deal and lucrative new TV contracts."

As The NY Daily News reported back in July of 2011, the new deal granted what amounted to a 4 percent decrease in the revenue share for the league's players. 

Players get between 47%-48.5% of all revenue, down about 4% from previous deal. Owners no longer take $1 billion off the top. Previously, players received 59.6% after $1 billion credit.

Along with the new CBA, Goodell has lead the charge against trying to clean up the game from concussion-inducing hits. 

With heavy fines and his investigation into the Saints bounty program, the players have sounded off in their dislike of the job the commissioner is doing. 

ESPN cited a recent poll that surveyed 300 active player who remained anonymous. The outcome was 61 percent of respondents saying they "disapprove of Goodell's performance."

39 percent of respondents who found Goodell's performance favorable cited his help in growing the sport. 

The sentiment of most fans (and the point of view of B/R's own Matt King) seems to be resonating with the owners. 

Really, this is what we should attribute the enormous pay bump to most. Even the Sports Business Daily report does well to state NBA commissioner David Stern and MLB commissioner Bud Selig are thought to earn somewhere in the vicinity of the mid $20 million range. 

Marc Ganis, president of SportsCorp, really made it all simple with, "the concept is if Roger and the league performs, as the best league in the United States, he should be compensated consistent with that."

The NFL continues to be the main league every sports fan marks down on their calendars each year and is arguably now "America's Favorite Pastime."

The Post Gazette reported the 12 most-watched sporting events in 2012 were all NFL games, making it perhaps the most popular sport in the nation. 

Its commissioner should be paid in tandem with that accomplishment, though I am sure many of the players might disagree. 

Hit me up on Twitter for more NFL nonsense. 

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