Roger Goodell earned nearly $30 million in 2012

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Free agency kicks off in a little more than three weeks but no marquee player is going to average what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell earned in 2012.

Goodell was paid $29.49 million by the NFL, according to a report by Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal, nearly tripling the compensation he received the year before when he helped guide the league through a labor showdown and to a 10-year deal between owners and players.

His big pay day came with a $22.3 million bonus. Per Kaplan, his compensation is “closely tied to his performance and not largely derived from a set salary.” It makes him the highest-paid sports commissioner.

“The NFL is the most successful and best-managed sports league in the world,” said Falcons owner and compensation committee chair Arthur Blank in a prepared statement to Kaplan. “This is in no small part due to Roger’s leadership and the value he brings to the table in every facet of the sport and business of the league. His compensation reflects that.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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