Roger Goodell Reportedly Close to Signing 5-Year Contract Extension with NFL

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2017

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 27:  Commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell visits SiriusXM NFL Radio during the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Lisa Lake/Getty Images

The NFL is reportedly "close" to extending commissioner Roger Goodell's contract for another five years, which would keep him at the post through the 2024 season.

Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal reported the news. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported there are "issues" still to be hammered out between the two sides but a deal is expected.

Goodell's current contract is set to expire in 2019.

While there has been criticism of Goodell's job performance, NFL owners have historically preferred stability at commissioner. The league has had just three commissioners—Pete Rozelle, Paul Tagliabue and Goodell—since the AFL-NFL merger.

Goodell took over as commissioner in 2006. His tenure has seen unprecedented revenue growth. The NFL reported $6 billion in revenue in 2006, and revenue hit $14 billion for the 2016 season. Goodell has publicly set a goal of reaching $25 billion in annual revenue by 2027.

Most of the increase has come thanks to large media deals with partners ESPN, NBC, CBS and Fox. The league has expanded its Thursday Night Football package to every week and made strides growing the game overseas, particularly in the United Kingdom.

Those financial numbers are likely a large reason the owners are satisfied keeping Goodell in place despite distrust from players and criticism in the media.

Goodell and the players have had a contentious relationship for years, particularly in regard to handling discipline. The commissioner has near-autonomy when it comes to suspending players for violations of the NFL personal conduct policy, a power that was upheld in courts after a lengthy legal battle.

His six-game suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is the latest example of players believing Goodell overstepped his authority. The NFL and NFLPA spent last week issuing increasingly pointed statements in each other's direction over leaks in the Elliott case.

Goodell has also taken criticism for the league's handling of player safety issues and hardline negotiations in the 2011 labor stoppage. If the extension is approved, Goodell would be in office for another round of collective bargaining negotiations when the current deal expires in 2021.