The owners of the NFL have completed an agreement with Commissioner Roger Goodell on a five-year contract extension. According to a memorandum sent Wednesday by the owners of the league's compensation committee, which negotiated the agreement, the contract is signed and signed.
The agreement extends to 2024, and Goodell's compensation is expected to reach a maximum of almost $ 40 million per season, although close to 90 percent of that payment would be linked to incentives.
The agreement is between Goodell and the owners of the compensation committee, led by Arthur Blank of the Atlanta Falcons. The compensation committee informed the other owners through a memorandum, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post.
It is unclear if the deal will face further opposition from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who threatened at one point to sue for Goodell's extension, but since he rescinded that threat.
The owners are scheduled to meet Dec. 12-13 in Dallas. Jones requested greater participation from owners who were not on the compensation committee in the Goodell contract, and a final vote of ratification by all owners once the agreement was completed.
The league has maintained that there will be no other vote of the owners. The owners voted, 32-0, at their May meeting in Chicago to authorize the compensation committee to negotiate the new deal with Goodell.
Jones served for a period of time as a non-voting member of the compensation committee. But that agreement ended after informing other committee members that he had hired attorney David Boies and was willing to file a lawsuit against Goodell's extension.
That started a tense showdown between Jones and other owners. There was a flurry of threats, accusations and letters sent back and forth. Jones accused Blank of deceiving the owners about the negotiations. He said that such an important investment in the commissioner was not justified at a time when the league was facing financial difficulties.
Other owners, in return, accused Jones of being guilty of conduct detrimental to the league. There was talk of possible sanctions that could include a fine, suspension or loss of a selection or draft picks from the Cowboys. There were reports of the possibility that Jones would be forced to sell the Cowboys, a franchise with an estimated value of more than $ 4 billion. But those reports that Jones was stripped of his franchise were ruled out by people familiar with the inner workings of the league as unreal.
Jones later indicated that he would not sue, saying that he had been satisfied that other owners had increased their input to the process. . The league said there had been no agreement with Jones over the threat of a lawsuit in exchange for a vote of final ratification by all the owners.
The Goodell extension would keep him in place through league negotiations for his next collective bargaining agreement with the players' union and his next set of television contracts. The owners blocked the players before the last labor agreement in 2011. In September, the players' leaders voted to retain DeMaurice Smith as executive director of the NFL Players Association while forbidding other candidates to compete for the position during this electoral cycle.  [NFL will consider college-style targeting rule for next season]
Television ratings for NFL games have declined over the past two seasons, and this season the league and Goodell have faced intense criticism from President Trump and some fans about the protests of the players during the national anthem. The owners refused to enact a rule when they met in October to demand that the players represent the anthem. They said that instead they were focused on discussions with the players about the league's support for the community activism of the players.
These discussions culminated in an agreement on a social justice initiative whereby the league and the owners would contribute $ 90 million between the beginning of the deal and 2023 to the social causes considered important to the players, particularly in the African-American communities. . Both sides have said that the agreement does not require players to represent the anthem. People familiar with the owners' thinking have said they could act in the off-season, if the protests last the whole season, change the anthem policy for next season and keep the players in the locker room until after they touch the anthem, which would be similar to the approach of the sport prior to 2009.
A note sent by the compensation committee to other owners said Wednesday that "the Commissioner and Arthur Blank, on behalf of the entities of the League, have signed a binding extension of the contract ".  The note, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, also said: "We are pleased to have resolved this problem and appreciate the strong support received from our partners." It was particularly gratifying to hear so many owners commit to participate more in League issues and expressing the desire to work more closely with the League Commissioner and staff on issues critical to the League We know we speak for all of you, as well as for the Commissioner, when you say that the NFL is stronger when our property is active and unified. "
The note says that the owners were informed by committee members "in the last days" of the contract details.
"Our Committee unanimously supports the contract and considers that it is fully consistent with the compensation of" market "and the financial and other parameters indicated to the owners at our meeting in May 2017, as well as in the best interests of the property, "said the memorandum. "We have also expressed in these talks our firm and unanimous belief that we must proceed to sign the agreement now, in line with the unanimous resolution of May and to avoid further controversy on this issue." We are pleased to report that there is an almost unanimity consensus among the property in favor of signing the extension of the contract now. "
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