Roger Goodell has been NFL commissioner since 2006 and it sounds like he probably not stopping anytime soon.
According to Ben Fischer and John Ourand at Sports Business Journal, Goodell is negotiating a fourth contract extension that is “likely” to be finalized in the coming months and would go beyond his current contract, which is set to end in March 2024.
The NFL has denied this as Brian McCarthy, league VP of communications, told SBJ, “There is no truth to this report.”
Regardless, the owners would likely want to keep Goodell just for the simple fact that the NFL is making more money now than ever and teams are getting more and more valuable. With a new 10-year labor deal and a $10 billion/year TV contract set to begin in 2023, it’s hard to imagine owners feeling the need to change leadership.
“He’s at the top of his game right now,” one owner told SBJ. “Why would we want him walking out the door?”
Since the NFL got rid of its nonprofit status in 2015, the league is no longer required to reveal Goodell’s salary. However, the New York Times revealed that, in an incentive-laden deal, Goodell reportedly made $63.9 million per year during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. Altogether, Goodell has reportedly made over $375 million in the 15 years he has been commissioner. It’s unknown what this next deal could bring but it’s highly unlikely Goodell would be coming back to take less money.
This might sound nonsensical for those who have been critical of Goodell. Whether it’s been concussions, domestic violence issues, investigations like one into the Washington Commanders, or lawsuits from Jon Gruden and Brian Flores, the buck stops with Goodell and a lot of criticism toward him has been rather justified.
On the other hand, Roger Goodell works for the owners and not the fans or media. So as long as the money keeps coming in, the owners are just fine with paying Goodell big bucks to absorb criticism and steer the NFL ship.