Daniel Kaplan, a writer for the Sports Business Journal, was the first to report the news that Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL are close to agreeing to a new contract extension. This agreement would be a new five-year extension that would be extremely similar to the last one he got. The extension would run through 2024 since it would add onto Goodell’s current contract, which does not expire until 2019.
However, a league source has told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the two sides still have issues to work out since the contract talks have not moved forward as originally anticipated. The source said that there have been ongoing discussions regarding an extension since the NFL’s owners meeting in May. A committee of owners, led by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, has held the discussions. However, Schefter’s source also said that there are some who feel that the owners and Goodell were closer to a deal at the beginning of August then they are right now.
This September 1 will mark 11 years since Goodell assumed the office of NFL commissioner following Paul Tagliabue officially stepping down to retire in 2006. Since then, Goodell’s tenure as commissioner has seen plenty of changes and controversies, along with him making plenty of money.
The NFL does not have to reveal how much money Goddell makes anymore since the league office gave up its nonprofit status in April, 2015. However, it is known that he made almost $32 million during the 2015 fiscal year, and earned a whopping $212.5 million during his first ten years as commissioner. When the contract extension becomes official, it will mark the third time Goodell has been extended, as he was back in 2009 and 2012.
Since Goodell has been commissioner, the league has focused on making the game safer with more penalties on hits to the head and a stronger concussion protocol, among other changes. This has led some to complain that these rule changes are ruining the game, while others argue that the NFL has not done nearly enough to deal with issues relating to concussions and CTE.
Under Goodell, the league has also expanded how and where the NFL can be watched. Last year, the league reached a deal with Twitter to livestream Thursday night games. This year, Amazon beat out Twitter to live stream those games, but Twitter did reach a new multi-year deal with the NFL to bring live football programming to its service.
In 2007, the NFL International Series was started. Since then there have been 17 games played in London and one in Mexico City. This upcoming season will see the most overseas game yet, with four in London and one in Mexico City. Other overseas destinations, like Germany and China, have also been discussed in recent years, as well as a permanent team based in England.
Roger Goodell has also had a tenuous relationship with the players in recent years, which started going sour during the league’s lockout back in 2011. This was magnified the next season when there was a referee lockout. This caused replacement refs to be used for the first three weeks of the season, with the issue culminating in the final play of Week 3’s Monday Night Game between the Packers and Seahawks.
Then there was all the fallout from how Goodell has handled several incidents like Bountygate, Ray Rice’s domestic violence, Bullygate, and Deflategate. His strict stance on celebrations by players has also been met with criticism, though the NFL revised its policy regarding that this offseason. This has all caused many players to distrust Goodell and make it seem to the public that the league office and players are at war with each other.
[Featured Image by Lisa Lake/Getty Images]