At a time of great labor uncertainty when Roger Goodell is being called on to lead the NFL to greater heights, the owners of the 32 teams have backed him moving forward.
It was announced this morning that Goodell was given a five-year contract extension that will carry him through 2015. His current deal was going to expire in a little more than a year in September 2011. NFL.com reported that the vote was unanimous and was held in December in a league meeting in Dallas.
“Commissioner Goodell and his staff have done an outstanding job and this is a statement of confidence in Roger’s leadership,” said Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, chairman of the NFL’s Compensation Committee. “NFL ownership recognizes his already significant list of accomplishments and is fully behind his strategic vision for the future of our league.”
Blank said that there will be no change in Goodell’s annual compensation. That’s notable because Goodell voluntarily took a 25 percent pay cut last spring with the league facing uncertain economic times. Certainly, the NFL could always bump up his pay at any time, but the move right now – with a staredown between the owners and players coming – only solidifies the position of the teams.
Goodell’s tenure is off to a solid start. He’s cracked down on player conduct both on and off the field, made it clear that safety is a serious initiative the league is looking at, and he’s strengthened overseas efforts. Of course, getting a team in Los Angeles would be a nice move. More work always lies ahead.
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