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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Roger Goodell’s Extension Still Not Finalized

  • Goodell, the highest-paid commissioner in U.S. sports, has served as commissioner since taking over Paul Tagliabue in 2006. 
  • The New York Times reported his total annual compensation was nearly $64 million in 2020-21.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

EAGEN, Minn. —  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s extension wasn’t fully wrapped up before the league’s spring owners’ meeting wrapped up on Tuesday. 

But Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said that Goodell’s fourth extension — a three-year deal that will keep Goodell on the job through March 2027 — was close. How close? Irsay and other owners are looking toward the next commissioner, including possibly splitting the duties into two roles in the post-Goodell era. 

“Basically, I think it’s just dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s,” Irsay said. “I think we still have to rubber stamp it, so to speak. So, it’s virtually done.”

Goodell’s extension remains with the NFL compensation committee, and won’t come up for a vote until the next time the owners meet. 

“I’ve been focused on other matters,” Goodell said. “It hasn’t been a point of focus for me. I have a year left. I told you before, I love the job. I have no doubt. We’ll reach that point at some point.”

While Goodell’s salary hasn’t been public since 2015, when the NFL gave up its tax-exempt status, The New York Times reported his total annual compensation was nearly $64 million in 2020-21.

With the NFL’s broadcast and streaming deals running for about another decade and the current collective bargaining agreement going through 2030, one priority for Goodell’s potential final term is developing his replacement. 

“He’s gonna be involved and have options to stay on as a consultant and also help us develop his list of who he thinks are the best people [to take over as commissioner],” Irsay said. “He will be with us through it.”

One NFL owner who spoke to FOS on condition of anonymity said there will likely be pressure applied on Goodell to identify and groom candidates for the job. The owner expects the next commissioner to come from within the NFL, as many owners are hesitant about bringing in from somebody outside the league. 

Irsay said there will be discussion in the coming years about splitting up the commissioner job into two roles: CEO and commissioner.

“When I retire, it’ll be the third transition that I’ve been through,” said Goodell, who has worked for the NFL since 1982. “That discussion has come up every single time, and I have no doubt it’ll come up again. 

“It’s a healthy discussion to have. The job changes over the years. It’s changed even while I’ve been [the commissioner]. I know that we will have those discussions at the appropriate time.”

But could Goodell, 64, stick around as commissioner beyond 2027?

“You guys have seen some comebacks from Ali and Brady and different people,” Irsay said. “Roger’s in great shape, and he loves what he does. …There’s just a lot of pressure and a lot of hard work for him, a lot of responsibilities. He may want to do some other things.”

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