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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Report: Jerry Jones Is Holding Up Roger Goodell's Contract Extension

Photo: Matt Dunham/AP
Photo: Matt Dunham/AP

Roger Goodell has made as much as $44 million in salary in a single year as NFL commissioner, and in his time on the job has reportedly made more than $200 million. The NFL’s compensation committee is currently working out a proposal to extend Goodell’s existing contract beyond its current 2019 expiration date, and at least one owner wants to get serious about scaling back the commissioner’s pay going forward. It’s just really, really unfortunate for Roger Goodell that this particular owner is the most powerful of them all: Jerry Jones.

From an ESPN report:

“If not for Jerry,” one person familiar with the contract negotiations said this weekend, “this deal would be done.”

While some owners believe a deal will be agreed upon, others aren’t quite as sure thanks to Jones, who has interjected himself into the process of the NFL’s six-man compensation committee, becoming the unofficial seventh member.

Jones is now being singled out by some owners and league executives as the reason Goodell does not have the contract extension that many expected to be in place before this season kicked off, per sources.


It would be more fun if Jones had just generally turned on Goodell, but his gripe is reportedly over Goodell’s outsized salary, as well as the salaries of “several other employees in the league office.” And while the majority of owners may be eager to extend the ginger dipshit’s contract well into the distant future, Jerry’s intervention is apparently no small thing:

The increasingly edgy relationship between Jones and Goodell has sharpened to the point where Goodell’s long-term future could be in question, according to league sources.


Whether a firm proposal is presented to Goodell after [a Wednesday conference call] remains a source of contention for the time being, sources said. While some owners believe a contract extension is imminent, another source close to the situation said, “there’s no way that happens right now.” The fact that there even is some level of dissension within NFL ownership circles illustrates what a touchy issue this has become.

It can’t be a random coincidence that the relationship between the NFL commissioner and the league’s most prominent owner has turned prickly in the midst of Goodell’s signature disciplinary heavy-handedness coming to bear on one of Dallas’s most important players. The NFL’s Ezekiel Elliott investigation has perhaps been as dysfunctional as any disciplinary action in the league’s recent history—bad enough that Elliott will be playing with Goodell’s six-game suspension looming over him while the courts determine whether the process violated standards of fundamental fairness.

The league was reportedly close to extending Goodell back in August. It was reported, then, that the extension would only need the approval of the six members of the league’s compensation committee. This new report doesn’t necessarily contradict that report, but it does say that owners on the outside of that process—Texans owner Bob McNair is named among this group—may not be especially happy with Goodell’s pay:

But not all owners give Goodell full credit for fueling the league’s economic boon, citing the participation of the owners themselves and indicators that troubled times may be on the horizon with uncertain TV ratings, a looming labor battle and a perceived weakening of the league’s image.

One source even countered, insisting, “This is about money and a guy [Goodell] making way too much money on a grossly stupid contract for the job.”


Jones isn’t on the compensation committee, but he will reportedly join the all-important Wednesday conference call, and apparently sees himself as “a representative of the remaining 26 owners.” As unofficial representatives go, this one wields a lot of influence.

Staff Writer, Deadspin

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