Roger Goodell likely to get historically lucrative extension

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is not only expected to remain in his role as the league’s top executive, but to add even more to his already massive bank account.

Front Office Sports reported that Goodell and a committee of several franchise owners have been working out an agreement on a contract extension for months. While there’s no surprise that he’ll remain in the post, what’s more interesting about the report is the amount of money he’s already made and may potentially earn in this new deal that will run through the 2027 NFL season:

Using the NFL’s tax filings from 2006-15 and various reports since the league gave up its tax-exempt status, Goodell is already conservatively estimated to have earned about $500 million since becoming commissioner. A three-year extension could easily add another $200 million to that total haul, and prior reports pointed to the new term being “the most lucrative deal ever given to any commissioner in any sport.”

These extension talks seem to be going much smoother than they did back in 2017 when the league took massive public relations hits for its handling of multiple issues. At that time, the NFL was criticized for how it handled the discipline of several players accused of domestic violence, most notably former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. It was also contending with lawsuits of former players and the estates of deceased players in regard to brain trauma, Tom Brady’s four-game suspension from the Deflategate scandal, addressing concussion protocols and other safety concerns among active players, protests in support of social justice — with Colin Kaepernick as the face of such actions — and a revamped schedule in support of the universally reviled “Thursday Night Football” slate of games. 

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones even threatened to block any negotiations over Goodell’s extension because of how unhappy he was about the backlash against the league.

With franchise valuations continuing to break records, the total from the last round of media rights deals eclipsing $100 billion and a new wave of star players to carry the league for the next decade, it’s hard to see anyone being able to challenge Goodell to take over as commissioner anyway. The former intern for Pete Rozelle would turn 68 by the end of the potential extension, meaning that he’s somewhat on the young end when it comes to the leadership among America’s most treasured companies. What will be of interest is determining what’s the next major threshold for the NFL as it marches through the rest of the 2020s with Goodell at the helm.

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