It’s not just NFL players who are scoring massive contract extensions these days. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has done the same. The NFL announced on Wednesday that Goodell has agreed to remain the league’s Commissioner, a position he’s held since 2006, through an agreement with the NFL’s compensation committee. Goodell’s extension will lock him into the job until March 2027, guaranteeing his reign over the most popular professional sports league in the country will last for more than two decades.
This is actually the fourth time Goodell and the NFL have agreed to an extension with negotiations reportedly going on for close to a year. He previously signed extensions in 2009, 2012, and 2017. However, it’s important to note that this extension comes after Goodell was able to guide the NFL through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The long-time commissioner reportedly still has big plans for the league in the years to come.
Presumably, Goodell’s contract extension comes with a pay raise. However, the NFL has never disclosed the commissioner’s salary and did not give a dollar figure when announcing his contract extension. Some have speculated that Goodell earns around $40-50 million per year. Previously, the New York Times reported that Goodell took home a salary of $63.9 million during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years. If that’s true, Goodell could be making even more with his new contract. Adam Schefter of ESPN believes the commissioner’s new contract could be “the most lucrative deal ever given to any commissioner in any sport.”
Needless to say, Goodell is making more than any NFL player. Joe Burrow of the Bengals is currently the highest-paid player in the league. With his new contract, Burrow makes an annual salary of $55 million. He is one of four players who make an average of over $50 million per year. However, none of those players can match the salary that Goodell is making as the league’s commissioner. Goodell’s current net worth is estimated at around $200 million. But that number could easily double or triple by the time his time as commissioner is over if speculation about his annual salary is accurate.
News of the extension may not sit well with a significant chunk of NFL fans. Goodell has been routinely booed by fans during the NFL Draft in recent years. He’s certainly drawn the ire of fans who were surely hoping that his tenure as commission would end without another extension. But such criticism comes with the job. Goodell has managed to traverse a wide variety of challenges throughout his tenure.
During his time as commissioner, Goodell has been forced to address on-field controversies like the famous Spygate and Bountygate scandals. He’s been forced to take steps to make football safer amidst lawsuits from former players regarding brain injuries. Goodell has had to oversee a tricky situation when players started to protest the national anthem. As mentioned, he also found a way to keep the league operating during the pandemic without having to cancel a single game.
At the same time, Goodell’s stewardship has significantly impacted the world of NFL betting. The league’s ever-increasing global appeal and thrilling matchups have transformed it into a favorite among sports bettors. This surge in popularity can also be attributed to the convenience of online sportsbooks, offering a user-friendly interface and a plethora of betting options.
The expansion of betting markets, from traditional wagers like moneylines and point spreads to innovative prop bets and live betting, has enriched the fan experience. Enthusiasts can now bet on specific player statistics, individual plays, and even real-time game developments, adding an extra layer of excitement to NFL games.
Moving forward, Goodell appears to have big plans for the remainder of his time as NFL commissioner. For starters, Goodell is pushing for flag football to become an Olympic sport in 2028, which would help to give the NFL a greater global presence. Meanwhile, there has long been speculation that Goodell would like to expand the NFL beyond its current 32 teams, perhaps putting new franchises in Canada, Mexico, or even Europe.
Whether fans like Goodell or not and whether they agree with everything he does or not, they will have to live with him as NFL commissioner for a few more years. While his new extension could end up being his last, there is no clear successor for Goodell as commissioner. He also has another three and a half years in the position until his contract expires. That gives Goodell a lot of time and freedom to mold the NFL the way he sees fit while also being the league’s highest-paid employee.
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