It was reported last week that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in the middle of contract negotiations, has made a demand for a lifetime salary of $49.5 million per year, plus use of a private jet for the rest of his life, and health insurance for his family. Currently he makes about $30 million per year plus bonuses, and his contract runs out in 2019. It seems like he’s starting the negotiation of his contract extension a bit early.
A spokesman for the NFL denies the actual terms of the contract, but a pair of ESPN reporters stand by the report, based on information they received from a source close to the situation.
Many NFL owners are outraged at Goodell’s demands and believe he’s not worth anywhere near that kind of money. One NFL owner, quoted anonymously said, “That number for Roger just seems too much. It’s offensive. It’s unseemly.”
Another NFL official said many owners believe that Goodell shouldn’t make any more than the highest paid player – around $25 million per year.
One owner in particular not happy with Goodell or his contract demands is Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
During a conference call of owners that comprise the NFL Compensation Committee, according to a source with knowledge of the call, the Cowboys owner said he had “papers drawn up” in the event that the current proposed Goodell deal was finalized. The deal would extend Goodell’s contract through 2024, and would make his tenure 18 years. It was clear during the call that Jones wanted the committee to send the finalized deal back to the entire membership for possible adjustment or cancellation.
Many of the owners on the call were shocked that Jones would even threaten a lawsuit to stop Goodell’s contract negotiations from proceeding, especially since Jones voted in favor of doing the deal with Goodell just a few months ago. Jones was made an ad hoc member of the committee earlier this year, but his position was rescinded last week after he made threats of a lawsuit.
Could it be that Jones is upset with Goodell for suspending Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games after a yearlong domestic violence investigation?
The New York Times reported Saturday that 88-percent of Goodell’s new deal is set to be incentive-based. However, because of the vague parameters of the incentives, Jones believes that regardless of the performance of the league, Goodell will make close to the same money in the new contract as he did in the old one.
With the growing boycotts from fans and confusion of advertisers whether to support a league whose commissioner has no authority over the approximately 16 players who have not been standing for the national anthem – about 1 percent of the league’s active players – many owners feel Goodell is ineffective.
I have no idea how Goodell can justify such a high salary considering how terribly he has handled the many player misconduct cases and legal cases over the past several years. He does seem to be ineffective in his authority over the league, and at the same time, viewership ratings have nose-dived this season. A portion of his bonuses is tied to the television ratings, and one ownership source told Sports Illustrated, “If the TV ratings in 2018 continue to tank, Goodell would get a lower bonus in the first year of his new deal.”
Jerry Jones may be the lone wolf in fighting against the NFL Commissioner, but Jones has been the owner of the Cowboys for 28 years and has won many cases against the league over that time. I wouldn’t be surprised if were to win this battle, as well.
TU ON THE ROAD
The University of Tulsa football team is on the road this week with an American Athletic Conference game at University of South Florida, 7 p.m. Thursday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
The Golden Hurricane will play their final home game of the season on Nov. 25 at 3 p.m.