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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Powerful NFL Exec to Leave After Shaping League for Decades

  • Pash helped negotiate the past two collective bargaining agreements between the league and NFLPA.
  • He was also involved in the Commanders’ various messes and Deflategate. 
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell’s right-hand man is heading off into the sunset. 

In a memo to employees, Goodell said Jeff Pash, the league’s lead attorney and executive vice president, will retire “after 40 years of distinguished service to the NFL.”

Pash joined the league office in 1997 and was kept on by Goodell after he became commissioner in 2006 and has had huge influence in shaping the modern NFL as a result. He was also considered for the commissioner’s post in ’06 before it ultimately went to Goodell. 

Pash negotiated the past two collective bargaining agreements between the league and the NFL Players Association, in 2011 and ’20, the latter of which expanded the regular season from 16 games to 17. 

At the NFL draft this past week, Goodell floated an 18-game regular season, which would push the Super Bowl to Presidents’ Day. That would require amending the current CBA, which expires in 2030. 

Outside of negotiations, Pash’s name came up during some of the NFL’s lower moments. He was a central figure in the Patriots’ Deflategate scandal in 2015, which revolved around quarterback Tom Brady having staffers deliberately deflate footballs to the team’s benefit. New England later released its own emails in which a team attorney called Pash “pretty disingenuous.” 

Pash’s name surfaced again during the New York Times and Wall Street Journal’s reporting on the Commanders’ toxic workplace. The stories painted a picture of Pash favoring his friend and longtime Washington president Bruce Allen. “I know that you are on it and would not condone something untoward,” Pash wrote to Allen when news broke of a sexual harassment scandal involving the team’s cheerleaders.

In the memo, Goodell said Pash will remain in his current position until a replacement is found and “will remain fully engaged and will actively participate in the search process and transition.”

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