Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks is currently playing on a four-year, $18 million deal with $5 million in guaranteed money. According to Sports Illustrated, Marks was far more interested in the salary of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday.
The defensive tackle took to Twitter to air his grievances:
Sen'Derrick Marks @senmarks
Roger Goodell has made $180.5 mill in his 1st 9 yrs as commish? And ppl say the players ask for too much cash. How many hits has he taken?2016-2-16 19:23:45
According to SI, Goodell made $34.1 million in 2014, $35 million in 2013 and $44 million in 2012, per a tax filing from the NFL. What’s more, the commissioner “has reportedly made over $180 million” since he assumed his current position in 2006.
The 2014 salary alone was more than any single NFL player made in 2015, per SI.
With those figures in mind, it's easy to see why Marks appeared to think it was a borderline absurd amount of money.
Sid Saraf of Fox Sports said fans and players shouldn’t get used to seeing Goodell’s income: “This will be the final year that we can marvel at Roger's paycheck, because the NFL decided in 2015 to give up its tax-exempt status. That way, the league can keep Goodell's compensation private.”
While Goodell hasn't put his body on the line, as Marks was quick to point out, the commissioner has taken plenty of those “hits” in the public-perception arena for a number of reasons. Many were critical of the way he and the league handled domestic violence issues involving Ray Rice (who was captured on tape hitting his then-fiancee) and Greg Hardy (who saw his suspension reduced from 10 games to four).
What’s more, Goodell earned criticism for how assertive he seemed to be with the New England Patriots in the Deflategate scandal, and football as a whole has been under the microscope for player-safety concerns and how it interacts with retired players impacted by health concerns such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Even Arizona Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain criticized Goodell for a number of things in 2015, per Jarrett Bell of USA Today:
‘I think these controversies would have gone away a lot easier if they had approached them from, 'How are the American people going to react to seeing the video of a professional football player knock out his wife?'’ McCain told USA TODAY Sports, referring to the Ray Rice elevator video.
‘If I were them, I would review my whole PR scheme.’
…The Deflategate controversy is another example, according to McCain.
‘One thing we do in politics when there's an issue that arises, smart politicians have a rapid-response team. What is the reaction of Mr. Goodell in this latest one? He's MIA as far as I can tell.’
While Goodell has taken criticism from players, media members and even politicians, making nine figures since 2006 probably makes the backlash easier to swallow.