When people have called for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to be fired, they always fail to remember one thing: The people who make that decision, the NFL owners, are happy with his work.
Oh, the owners might not have liked how the Ray Rice decision went down and they probably get upset when he suspends one of their players, but Goodell has made the NFL insanely profitable. That’s why it’s no surprise the owners are ready to give Goodell a five-year extension that goes through 2024, according to Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal. Goodell’s contract doesn’t end until 2019, so the owners extending him now says a lot about what they think of his work.
If you want a new NFL commissioner, don’t hold your breath. Goodell will be here for a while.
The timing is interesting, consideringNFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith’s comments last week. Smith said a strike or lockout in 2021, when the collective-bargaining agreement is up, is a “virtual certainty.” Now it’s a virtual certainty Goodell will be the face of that labor battle on the NFL’s side. The owners didn’t extend Goodell because of the threats of the union head, but it ensures continuity on the NFL’s side as it gets ready for that fight.
Kaplan reported that Goodell’s extension will be similar to his current contract, which gives him small base salaries and large bonuses from the owners. Goodell’s highest reported salary was $44.2 million in 2012 (his salary no longer is publicly disclosed). That seems high, but the NFL made a reported $14 billion in the 2016 season. For all the misplaced panic about a dip in television ratings last season, the preseason Hall of Fame game still drew more viewers than almost all NBA and Major League Baseball playoff games. The NFL is doing very well, and Goodell is going to reap the rewards.
The NFL is a financial powerhouse, and Goodell is a big reason for that. NFL owners like making money, and that’s why Goodell is going to be a part of our lives for a long time.
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