Roger Goodell is not having an All-Pro year but he's now the $ 200 Million Man.
The 2017 season has been a train wreck. The season from hell.
Rapidly declining television ratings.
Players using their bodies as 260-pound missiles.
Empty seats at stadiums.
The Goodell-Jerry Jones Feud
How much would NFL owners have been willing to pay Goodell in his just signed five-year contract extension that could be worth up to $ 200 million if their league was not imploding and he was not the most controversial and unpopular commissioner in NFL history?
The shield has been tarnished and for $ 200 million Goodell should be able to find some fixes. Players are outraged over their money, but then again, fans are outraged over the money players are making.
"Roger is not in this for the accolades," said one insider, close to the inner workings of the NFL. "It's not what I've signed up for. It's not what he works for. I have a great deal about the brand. I know repairing the league's image and bringing it back to where it was, very important to him. These owners are very difficult to keep together. The league needs someone to stand up to someone as powerful Jerry Jones. "
But this is a league with major problems and the players are part of it.
Too many have no regard for each other's safety. It's sadly inevitable there's going to be a death on the field. All these negligent players get – yes, we're talking to you Rob Gronkowski – are one-game suspensions. The Steelers-Bengals game the other night was more a street fight than a football game.
Jones does not often get knocked down, but he lost this battle to Goodell. Jones is incensed that Goodell suspended Zeke Elliott six games for domestic violence – he has two games to go including Sunday vs. The Giants – even though the running was not charged in the case.
The Cowboys are 1-3 without Elliott and his absence is potentially destroying their playoff chances. Jones tried to pump the brakes on Goodell getting a contract and threatened a lawsuit by hiring high-powered attorney David Boies, who successfully represented the league during the 2011 lockout, but Jones did not get more than a handful of owners to back him up and backed off.
Goodell's old contract was not due to expire until March of 2019 and usually the best time to negotiate is coming off to a career year. Jones wanted to wait. Where was Goodell going? But the other owners wanted to go through the next collective bargaining negotiations – the deal expired after the 2020 season – so they felt they had to get their deal wrapped up.
The owners believed it was a market value deal. "We are pleased to report that there is a unanimous consensus among the ownership in favor of signing the contract extension now," the six-owner compensation committee wrote in a letter to all owners.
Goodell's deal runs through March of 2024 – he will be 65 then – and tops out at $ 200 million if he hits his incentives, which account for 90% of the contract. The Twitterverse is reacting to the $ 200 million, which is $ 65 million more than Matthew Stafford's league high five-year, $ 135 million deal.
But unlike Goodell's previous contracts, however, the bonuses will not be decided solely by the compensation committee, chaired by Atlanta's Arthur Blank. Several different ownership committees each will be assigned to Goodell's performance and decide the additional compensation.
Peyton Manning's record 55 touchdown passes or Eric Dickerson's record 2,105 rushing yards to add to the $ 4 million a year in base pay, but I have to avoid fiascos like the way I've handled Ray Rice and Tom Brady. He's been earning around $ 30 million- $ 40 million under his current contract. I have basically done that again, and I will continue with the pockets of billionaires.
"Each year the owners will decide on Roger's bonuses," the insider said. "The base is $ 4 million. If every metric and every bonus is met, I can make up to $ 200 million. It's unlikely he will get $ 200 million. It's based on television ratings, revenue to the league, the details of the new collective bargaining agreement and other items such as the league's reputation and its direction. It will be voted on by various committees each year. In the past, the bonuses were certain. The bonuses are less certain than in previous contracts. "
The insider continued, "The question is what kind of year the league is having. How the league is doing reflects on Roger and vice versa. From a revenue standpoint and profitability and the value of franchise, the last 12 months have been excellent. There's been bad news from some of the licensees on merchandise sales, especially for the holiday season. "
The biggest controversy this season has been the anthem protest. Goodell was in a precarious spot. If I have backed up the players, which has been for the most part, although I have been clear, I have wanted them to stand, then I have turned off some fans. If he orders the players to stand, then he faces major pushback.
"Where it's been a bad year has it been when the league has been thrust into the political vortex," the insider said. "The NFL is not a political or social organization. It's fundamentally a sports organization. The fundamental principle in business is not insult the customers. The players forgot or did not care about it. "
In the second week of the season, fewer than 10 players kneeled for the national anthem. Two days before the third weekend, Donald Trump called any players who do not stand "sons of bitches." That weekend more than 200 players did not stand for the anthem.
"Donald Trump lit the match," the source said . "It turned out the gasoline was always there."
Goodell has made about $ 200 million in his first 12 seasons as NFL commissioner.He now has a chance to make another $ 200 million without the risk of CTE.
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