Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that Roger Goodell’s contract extension—which has been in the works for months, now—has been held up by the attention drawn by ongoing player protests during pregame national anthem ceremonies. That rushing sound you hear is tens of thousands of NFL fans suddenly reconsidering their opposition to those dang protests.
This isn’t the first non-performance-related snag in Goodell’s extension talks. Back in September, word was Jerry Jones himself had infiltrated the league’s compensation committee and was griping about the commissioner’s outsized salary, with several other owners—including one who described the commissioner’s contract as “grossly stupid”—joining in.
But according to Schefter’s report, the issue here isn’t dissatisfaction with pay or performance; it’s simply that the owners are too involved in addressing themselves to the anthem protests to get around to officially extending the Ginger Hammer.
Goodell’s deal is still expected to be completed and has been papered, sources told ESPN, but the process has been slowed while the overwhelming majority of the NFL’s attention has been diverted to handling the anthem issue, which has affected TV ratings, merchandise sales and the country’s feelings about football.
Had the issue not existed, Goodell’s contract might have been completed at last week’s owners meeting in New York, sources said. However, because the issue has become so critical to the league, the NFL’s compensation committee spent about only 20 minutes Wednesday discussing Goodell’s extension, with Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank leading those talks, sources told ESPN.
The committee still insists Goodell’s deal will be completed, but there is other business that currently is more pressing.
“The anthem issue has overridden everything — and I do mean everything,” one source told ESPN.
However you feel about the ongoing protests, I’m sure we can all agree that the collateral damage to Goodell’s job security is a win for everyone.