NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at the podium. HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 06: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the media at the Super Bowl Winner and MVP press conference on February 6, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Say what you will about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but the man appears to have some good job security. Despite rumors suggesting Goodell could be on the brink of tipping the scales of approval from the NFL owners against him, Sports Business Journal, ESPN and others are reporting that Goodell is inching toward a new five-year contract with the league running through 2024.

Goodell is currently under contract to serve the NFL as commissioner into 2019, but this new deal will tack on five additional seasons. The negotiations have been ongoing since May, according to ESPN. Goodell, who has been the league’s commissioner since replacing Paul Tagliabue in 2016, has been paid $212.5 million by the league over the years, earning a whopping $32 million during 2015 before the NFL stopped being required to file Goodell’s salary publicly. As the NFL continues to thrive despite a few hurdles here and there, it is expected Goodell’s salary will remain quite comfortable, to say the least.

Among the headaches Goodell has suffered through involve player discipline and player safety. The NFL has been working to address concerns about head trauma in the sport, and it is up to Goodell to be the public voice addressing that science. This has not been a particularly strong area for the NFL, but it is one the league appears to be attempting to improve, if slowly.

Player discipline remains a hot topic, however, and will always be a contentious one as long as Goodell is handing out punishments unilaterally. The recent suspension of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (six games for his connection to a domestic violence allegation) was just the latest story to bring Goodell’s name into the picture. A lack of consistency in player conduct penalties and suspensions has raised the level of frustration around the league, with Elliott’s being the latest example. The suspension of Elliott was assumed to be one that could make or break Goodell’s standing with the league owners. If he was too light on Elliott, the owners would cry foul. If too harsh on Elliott, the support from Jerry Jones would carry influence another way.

But the bottom line will just about always be the bottom line for leagues and their commissioners. The NFL is doing particularly well in the finance department even in spite of a changing television landscape and political headlines crossing over to the football field. As long as the league owners are making money, the need to find a new commissioner is not a pressing one around the league. And that just means Goodell will be swimming in a pool of money for at least another five years.


About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.