NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has his new contract extension, a huge deal that represents the victory over an owner who had unleashed an unpleasant dispute between owners and ripped up the inner workings. The Goodell and the NFL's compensation committee reached an agreement on Wednesday over a five-year extension worth up to $ 200 million, one that could reach $ 40 million annually with close to 90 percent. linked to incentives. The contract had been under development for months, mainly because Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was in an open revolt.
"What many owners said in the last few days is that they wanted to continue with the league business, and there are a lot of very important issues at this time should be addressed," Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, who heads the committee of six owners, told Peter King of SI. "Now let's focus on the real issues, the important thing is that the owners have confidence in Roger and they wanted him to continue, there was no doubt about that."
On the way, however, Jones launched an attack, with a senior high-ranking official with an NFL team that told Kent Babb and Mark Maske of The Post last month that "it's mostly a tantrum." If so, it was effective, with Jones trying to wrest control of the process by forcing his way to the committee, trying to lead an uprising of the owners to block a new deal or expelling Goodell, and hiring a lawyer who was prepared to sue the league if he proceeded to approve Goodell's new deal.
Shadows of the late Al Davis, without the affection that the passage of time has caused in their disputes.
As the contract was being completed in the last few days, Blank, relieved, told King that he had contacted Jones, who, said, "understands the contract and how we got here."
We'll see how well it works in a week, when the owners have an annual meeting on December 13 in Irving, Texas. Jones' garden. There is a lot of ugliness to overcome, given the ESPN report on what happened when Jones was informed about the suspension of six Ezekiel Elliott games in August. "I'm going to go after you with everything I have," Jones said, according to ESPN. He continued to mention Deflategate, whereby New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games at the start of the 2016 season. "If you think that [Patriots owner] Bob Kraft came after you hard, Bob Kraft is a [expletive] compared to what I'm going to do. "
Things got so bad that there were threats that Jones could be stripped of his team property or at least disciplined in some way by his fellow owners.
"Clearly, around Roger's contract there have been threats of litigation because I have already spent too much of my life in depositions, I want to try to minimize that in the future," said Jonathan Kraft, president of the Patriots and son of Bob. Kraft, last month. "I'm not going to comment on that process, but what I would say is that Jerry, when our fan base and we were going through the whole atmospheric pressure issue, Jerry had reviewed the salary costs, and basically he said & # 39; I think that everyone should take their medication and concentrate on winning football matches. "
Kraft was referring to the Cowboys docking $ 10 million in salary caps in 2012 and 2013 as punishment for the way they structured players' contracts during the 2010 NFL season without a salary cap. (The Washington Redskins were similarly punished.) The Krafts were really furious as Deflategate dominated the headlines of 2015 and Robert Kraft said scathingly: "I was wrong to put my faith in the league," adding: "I have come to the conclusion that that this was never about doing what was fair and just. " The Patriots fans were furious, and Goodell did not return to Gillette Stadium until this year.
"[W] When you're angry and angry it's not what you want to hear because I do not think Tom has been treated fairly," said Jonathan Kraft. "I do not think any of our fans feel that Tom was treated fairly, but we ended up taking that advice and ended up winning the Super Bowl, I think it was good advice."
Jones has a point that confronts many owners with problems, such as the television audience, attendance, demonstrations of national anthems that have provoked the wrath of President Trump and decreased participation of children in youth soccer. Many of those songs focused on anthem demonstrations and Jones was adamant about demanding that players stand up. The other owners of the NFL chose a more reasoned path, focusing on the discussions that led the league and the Coalition of Players to reach an agreement on a fund to support social justice programs in at-risk communities.
Now, the business continues as usual. owners Most of them, anyway.
"One thing that has come out of this is very good, I think, is the fact that the owners are going to have a much more open line of communication with Roger now," Blank told King. "At each owners meeting now, we're going to have an exclusive session for owners, and then a session of owners with Roger, with everyone else out of the room, the owners asked for that contact, and it's reasonable to ask. .
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