If you have a problem with Roger Goodell making more money than any football player, your problem’s not with the NFL specifically, but with executive bonus culture, and the notion that it seemingly isn’t tied to the company’s success. In which case Goodell and the owners will happily point to the fact that the league is printing money, so what’s eight figures between friends?
In tax documents filed today, the NFL reported its executives’ compensation for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2015. and Roger Goodell tops them all with $34.1 million (General counsel Jeff Pash was second with $7.5M). Via ESPN, here’s how that shakes down:
Goodell had a $3.5 million base salary, but also received a bonus of $26.5 million, a figure that was determined in 2013. He also received $3.7 million in pension and other deferred benefits as well as $273,000 in “other reportable compensation.”
That’s in line with previous years; Goodell made $35 million for 2013 and $44.2 million for 2012, which included about $9 million in deferred money from previous years.
While the fiscal year payments disclosed today does cover the season of the Ray Rice scandal, one of the biggest black eyes the league has ever faced, we’ll likely never know if the owners decided to take it out on Goodell, an idea mooted by some observers. As noted, Goodell’s 2014 bonus was approved in 2013, before the shit hit the fan. And the NFL will not be required to report Goodell’s 2015 payment, which would show any pay cut post-Rice, because that’s the year it forfeited its (mostly cosmetic) tax-exempt status.