In August of 2006, it became worldwide news that Roger Goodell would be named as the new commissioner of the NFL. This was due to the retirement of Paul Tagliabue. The then-49-year old would be handed the most powerful position in all of football, only to have it become drastically misused in the opinion of most.
As reported by Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal, it has been reported that the NFL and Goodell are very close to agreeing upon a five-year extension for the commissioner. The current deal of Goodell, in which he makes a base salary of $3.5 million annually, is set to expire at the end of the 2020 season. If the newest extension is executed properly, Goodell could be signed through the 2024 campaign.
Skeptics of Goodell often point to his mishandled ruling against ex-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. Others will go on to point out the obvious fault in Goodell, which was his ruling against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in what was known as “Defaltegate”.
The number of mishandled cases could go on for pages, but there is a top priority in the NFL above all others: The profit of owners. Within the Goodell era, NFL owners have made more money now than ever before. While some may argue against it, the numbers and facts back up that theory.
Some may believe that Goodell making $3.5 on a base salary is minor, but what about the figures behind his bonuses? According to the tax files of the NFL back in 2014, Goodell made a whopping $35 million that year (which happened to be a decrease from 2012, where he made $44.2 million). As a total, it has been reported that Goodell has made over $300 million off of the NFL since 2006.
On a completely different side, Goodell does deserve a sense of credit. Coming in as an intern in 1982, Goodell has been part of the revolution in the NFL when it comes to officiating, making the game safer, and has even changed the way fans can view the game.
While viewership has remained consistent under Goodell, in 2017, there appeared to be an 8% drop-off. Through research, it was revealed that a large group of fans were boycotting the NFL due to the sudden protests during the National Anthem. While these issues don’t necessarily correlate with Goodell’s beliefs, the mess is still on his lap.
With the mistakes Goodell has made in the past, is he a commissioner worth keeping for the long-haul, or is he simply viewed as a beneficiary for NFL owners around the league? I would go with the latter, simply because of the frustration that multiple players have had with Goodell over the years.
While no alternative option has been given in terms of a new commissioner, it seems as though the NFL is stuck under the grasp of Goodell. In fact, I would bet on the fact that Goodell will likely receive a raise within his base salary. Fully expect for most fans and outlets to be disappointed with this outcome, including myself.
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