Roger Goodell Signs 5-Year Contract Extension to Remain NFL Commissioner

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2017

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media after an NFL owners meeting Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Paul Beaty/Associated Press

Roger Goodell signed a contract extension to remain the commissioner of the NFL

Albert Breer provided a a memo the Compensation Committee sent to owners on Wednesday:

Pro Football Talk initially reported the news.

Darren Rovell of ESPN reported the five-year deal could be worth twice as much annually as the first ten years Goodell was commissioner, which he made $212.5 million. 

Goodell, 58, has been the NFL's commissioner since 2006. He has been involved in the NFL in some capacity since joining as an intern in the league office in 1982.

Per ESPN.com, "Goodell worked his way through the ranks and was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer by Paul Tagliabue in 2001. He oversaw the league's football operations and officiating departments and supervised all league business functions."

Goodell's tenure has been a controversial one. While he's overseen significant revenue growth for the NFL, helped bring Thursday Night Football to the table and shipped the game overseas to England, among other accomplishments, he's also been the subject of major scrutiny for his handling of sensitive issues such as domestic violence, concussions and head trauma.  

His tenure also included the controversial Bountygate and Deflategate sagas, both of which became conflicts with the NFL Players Association regarding the commissioner's power to not only hand out suspensions but also oversee player appeals. That broad power, granted by the collective-bargaining agreement, will almost assuredly be a major sticking point in the next labor negotiation.

Those issues arose again when Goodell suspended Ezekiel Elliott for six games in August, setting into motion another legal battle between the NFL and one of its players. It also may have impacted the timetable for Goodell's extension—reports in September indicated that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones held up the extension and reportedly argued that he made way too much money.

Reports again emerged in late October that Jones and 16 other owners were considering putting a pause on what had been considered Goodell's inevitable contract extension.

According to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN, those owners were "generally unhappy with Goodell and the NFL's front office for a variety of reasons, including the player protests staged during the national anthem, issues regarding the relocation of teams to Los Angeles and the league's handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case." 

Ultimately, Goodell's extension was approved. But where it was once safe to say that Goodell was a commissioner generally respected by the league's owners—with a few controversies impacting his relationship with Jones and Patriots owner Robert Kraft—his standing with the owners in recent years has come into question.

Given his extension, however, the owners made it clear they still want him as the commissioner. 

On the other hand, Goodell remains distrusted by many NFL players and fans of the league.

"He’s the face of the owners," veteran defensive lineman Jared Odrick said in July 2016, per SI.com. "He gets paid, what, $40 million a year just to take the heat and speak so the owners can remain faceless. Is it smart? Hell yeah, it’s smart. I’ll take $40 million a year to be NFL commissioner and be a politician."

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