Roger Goodell Signs Five-Year Extension Worth $200 Million, Ending Standoff With Jerry Jones
The NFL on Wednesday extended commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract by five years, thus ending a months-long quarrel between him and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who was opposed to such an extension.
Roger Goodell contract extension news
The deal is reportedly worth $200 million if all incentives are met and bonuses granted.
Jones and other owners have allegedly wanted to ensure Goodell continues to grow the league’s business. Thus, they have urged that the majority of his compensation in the future be based on the NFL reaching financial targets, with several owners signing off on bonuses linked to the targets. Goodell’s guaranteed salary before those potential bonuses will be about $4 million a year.
The NFL boasts $14 billion in annual revenue. Goodell, 58, has been the league’s commissioner since 2006.
Last month, Jones threatened to sue the members of the NFL’s six-man compensation committee, made up of the owners of the Chiefs, the Falcons, the Giants, the Patriots, the Steelers and the Texans. The Cowboys owner’s disgruntlement came following Goodell’s decision to hit running back Ezekiel Elliott with a six-game suspension over a domestic violence incident, which was upheld after a long appeal and subsequent legal battle. Jones claimed Elliott was a victim of Goodell’s “overcorrection” for the mediocre job the commissioner did in handling other NFL player suspensions, like former Ravens star Ray Rice, who was also suspended for domestic abuse in 2014. Jones even went so far as to hire David Boies, an attorney who has defended several high-profile clients including disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused by dozens of women of sexual harassment or assault.
However, Jones dropped his threat last week. However, Jones has insisted that all 32 team owners, not simply those on the compensation committee, be allowed to vote on Goodell’s new contract, partly because conditions at the league had changed. Television ratings have declined, and the controversy of players protesting the national anthem has significantly grown. Goodell’s new contract would take effect in March 2019.
The compensation committee released this memo about Goodell’s extension: “In recent days, we have spoken with each of you individually regarding the status of the negotiations to extend Commissioner Goodell’s employment contract,” the memo reads. “In the course of those discussions, we have reviewed with you the details of the contract extension. Our Committee unanimously supports the contract and believes that it is fully consistent with “market” compensation and the financial and other parameters outlined to the owners at our May 2017 meeting, as well as in the best interests of ownership. We also have expressed in those conversations our strong and unanimous belief that we should proceed to sign the agreement now, consistent with the unanimous May resolution and to avoid further controversy surrounding this issue.”
In uniting to fight Jones and to permit the compensation committee to complete its negotiations, the owners reinforced the NFL’s longstanding policy of delegating work and not letting one owner amass too much power.
“This decision shows that no single owner is more important than the other owners,” Marc Ganis, a consultant to several N.F.L. teams, said. He added that keeping Goodell in the commissioner’s job gives the league stability while it prepares for a new labor deal and negotiations with its broadcast partners.
HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 01: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks with the media during a press conference for Super Bowl 51 at the George R. Brown Convention Center on February 1, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)