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Goodell's NFL Compensation Exceeds $44M In 12-Month Period (1 Viewer)

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Roger Goodell's NFL Compensation Exceeds $44M In 12-Month Period

By Daniel Kaplan, Staff Writer

Published February 14, 2014

The NFL paid Commissioner Roger Goodell $44.2M in the 12-month period that ended March 31, 2013, the league told SportsBusiness Journal earlier Friday. That figures include $9.1M of deferred pension and bonus earned the previous year. The league expects to file its tax return, which will include the pay figures, with the IRS on Tuesday. That return will show Goodell earned a $3.5M salary and a $40.36M bonus, though $5M of the bonus was earned the prior year. Disclosure of Goodell’s nearly $30M compensation at this time last year reverberated through the industry. Sean Gilbert, a contender for the top spot at the NFLPA, penned a book called the “The $29 Million ‘Tip,’” arguing Goodell’s pay was gratitude from owners for what the former player contends is a pro-management labor deal struck in ‘11. Even Congress has brought up Goodell’s pay as part of attacks on the league’s non-profit status. Prior to the '11 labor deal, Goodell’s top pay was $11.5M.

The league stressed that $9.1M of Goodell’s pay came from deferred bonus and pension from the ‘11 lockout period and that his true pay is around $35M. “Goodell’s compensation reflects our pay-for-performance philosophy and is appropriate given the fact that the NFL under his consistently strong leadership continues to grow,” NFL owners Arthur Blank, Robert Kraft and Jerry Richardson wrote in a letter to their fellow owners that is scheduled to be e-mailed friday afternoon. The three owners comprise the league’s compensation committee.

The pay almost assuredly makes Goodell the highest-paid sports exec. MLB in recent years changed its tax status to for-profit, so it no longer is required to make public its return, but when Commissioner Bud Selig signed his latest two-year contract in ‘12, ESPN reported the final year would pay him $22M, though other sources placed the figure north of that in the $30M range.

“Bud Selig has historically been the highest-paid commissioner,” said Marc Ganis, a sports consultant with strong ties to both leagues. “These numbers put Roger and Bud in the same league. A number of NFL owners feel Roger should be the highest-paid commissioner based on performance.” Among other leagues, the NBA has never publicly disclosed exec compensation, and with Adam Silver now at the helm, it is unlikely a new commissioner would make more than a long-standing commissioner in a richer sport. The NHL paid Gary Bettman $8.3M in the FY ended June 30, 2012, according to that league’s most recently available tax return.

“Based on performance and success, it is logical to pay our commissioner competitively relative to other commissioners,” Kraft, Richardson and Blank wrote. The compensation information sent to owners today also will show outgoing NFL Network President & CEO Steve Bornstein with pay of $26M for the year-ended March 31, 2013. The trio of owners also wrote in the letter that the pay includes “a one-time final contractual payment” of $19.6M related to the long-term appreciation in value of the NFL Network. Bornstein is scheduled to leave the NFL this spring.
 
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The NFL will eventually not be able to sustain this type of pay structure. No way Goddell is worth that over the long term.

Good on him for getting his while the gettin' was good.

 
The NFL will eventually not be able to sustain this type of pay structure. No way Goddell is worth that over the long term.

Good on him for getting his while the gettin' was good.
44 million divided by 32 owners works out to less than a million and a half per team, it's a drop in the bucket for them. I do agree however that he's not worth it, he's a bit of a weasel imo and has been bad for the league.

 
Most of this seems to be a bonus for handling the lockout to the result the owners were happy with. Issue with that? Not for me.

 
Huh. I manage a league and get compensated exactly $0.00. No fringe benefits whatsoever either. I must be doing something wrong to be compensated so poorly, but I consistently get rave reviews from the owners in the league. Oh well.

 
Ruffrodys05 said:
Huh. I manage a league and get compensated exactly $0.00. No fringe benefits whatsoever either. I must be doing something wrong to be compensated so poorly, but I consistently get rave reviews from the owners in the league. Oh well.
Maybe you should get a billion dollar television contract for your league.

 
Ruffrodys05 said:
Huh. I manage a league and get compensated exactly $0.00. No fringe benefits whatsoever either. I must be doing something wrong to be compensated so poorly, but I consistently get rave reviews from the owners in the league. Oh well.
Maybe you should get a billion dollar television contract for your league.
Okay. I'll see what I can do.

 
Ruffrodys05 said:
Huh. I manage a league and get compensated exactly $0.00. No fringe benefits whatsoever either. I must be doing something wrong to be compensated so poorly, but I consistently get rave reviews from the owners in the league. Oh well.
Maybe you should get a billion dollar television contract for your league.
Okay. I'll see what I can do.
You can tell them that I'd tune in.

 
Most of this seems to be a bonus for handling the lockout to the result the owners were happy with. Issue with that? Not for me.
Goodell busted down the players union, got the rookies contracts under control. What they are paying him is nothing compared to what the teams are saving in rookie contract alone. Love him or hate him unlike other commissioners Goodell has total control over the players. That 35 million is not even accurate. I read last night that Goodell is getting 9 million a year deferred on top of that. Why the need for deferred $$$ on top of 35?? I don`t think Goodell should make more than the top paid player.

Goodell is a politician, the son of a US senator.

 
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He's overseeing a cash cow, is unafraid to make unpopular tough decisions, is strong enough to deal with the players union, and does the owners dirty work.

Fans may not like him but they tend make their judgments based upon the game and disregard the business aspect. - and make no mistake, this is all about business.

Given the league's revenues and success, I'd say he's earned it.

 
He's been coasting off the momentum of the previous 2 guys. History will reflect that he was a fan unfriendly commish and will be regarded as bad one.

 
MoveToSkypager said:
He's been coasting off the momentum of the previous 2 guys. History will reflect that he was a fan unfriendly commish and will be regarded as bad one.
But that's not what his bosses care about. He makes money for the owners. Billions. That's his main prerogative, as much as we the fans hate some of the things he's done.

 
MoveToSkypager said:
He's been coasting off the momentum of the previous 2 guys. History will reflect that he was a fan unfriendly commish and will be regarded as bad one.
All the guys in sports are making money because of what players/coaches/others did before them though.

 
In a league where "employees" make 400k minimum and up to 22 mil per year, is anyone surprised that the "CEO" is making 44 million?

If so, you should see what the owners make.

 
In a league where "employees" make 400k minimum and up to 22 mil per year, is anyone surprised that the "CEO" is making 44 million?

If so, you should see what the owners make.
This is crazy to me, and something I really wish they would look at. They did a great job altering the rookie pay scale, and I wish they would put a cap on what players can individually make.

Peyton Manning for example. Awesome, one of the best ever...........................doesn't need to be making 20 million a year when some of the guys blocking for him make less than a million. Not to mention the rules are written to the QBs can have much longer and healthier careers, but the other players who make peanuts still make far less and have far shorter shelf lives.

There needs to be a cap (maybe by position), and a drastic increase of the league minimum

 
The NFL probably made at least $2 million just on the stupid Fan express shuttle that they charged fans $51 each to take to the Superbowl, as the only other alternative was NJ Transit which nearly 30,000 people reportedly took to the game. No one was allowed to walk to MetLife stadium or get dropped off by a taxi, limo, etc. You could only tailgate inside your car, if you were lucky enough to be one of the few with a parking pass. And the line after the game to get on the trains was absurd. I never saw anything like it at an event of this magnitude. And it was all for money, not security, so folks like Goodell can make $44 million a year.

 
In a league where "employees" make 400k minimum and up to 22 mil per year, is anyone surprised that the "CEO" is making 44 million?

If so, you should see what the owners make.
This is crazy to me, and something I really wish they would look at. They did a great job altering the rookie pay scale, and I wish they would put a cap on what players can individually make.

Peyton Manning for example. Awesome, one of the best ever...........................doesn't need to be making 20 million a year when some of the guys blocking for him make less than a million. Not to mention the rules are written to the QBs can have much longer and healthier careers, but the other players who make peanuts still make far less and have far shorter shelf lives.

There needs to be a cap (maybe by position), and a drastic increase of the league minimum
People like watching Peyton Manning way more than 20 times as much as they like watching Orlando Franklin, Chris Clark, Zane Beadles, or Manny Ramirez. I don't think it'd be unfair if Manning made 20 times what any of those guys made (which he didn't, based on their 2013 salary cap numbers).

 
People like watching Peyton Manning way more than 20 times as much as they like watching Orlando Franklin, Chris Clark, Zane Beadles, or Manny Ramirez. I don't think it'd be unfair if Manning made 20 times what any of those guys made (which he didn't, based on their 2013 salary cap numbers).
All true that the guy is the face of the team and what people want to see.

Still a problem IMO that he makes 20 million a year for 15 years while others make 400k for a couple years.

The NFL, of the top sports, is by far the worst as far as earnings for the lower tier guys. Not even comparable actually.

 
People like watching Peyton Manning way more than 20 times as much as they like watching Orlando Franklin, Chris Clark, Zane Beadles, or Manny Ramirez. I don't think it'd be unfair if Manning made 20 times what any of those guys made (which he didn't, based on their 2013 salary cap numbers).
All true that the guy is the face of the team and what people want to see.

Still a problem IMO that he makes 20 million a year for 15 years while others make 400k for a couple years.

The NFL, of the top sports, is by far the worst as far as earnings for the lower tier guys. Not even comparable actually.
It's classic supply and demand. There are hundreds, thousands of Zane Beadles. There are very few, if any, other Peyton Mannings out there. Teams dream of finding the next Peyton Manning. They expend crazy resources trying to determine who that might be. Mediocre QB's are drafted in the top ten every year just so bad teams have a shot at a potential franchise QB. Peyton Manning can pretty much name his price until his play declines, and there's a reason for that. There are a very limited number of human beings on this earth of billions that can do what he does--and it's hard enough trying to sift through the Americans that have played the sport their entire lives. With the amount of money the NFL makes, a unique market has formed for a guy like Peyton Manning. Or even a guy like Joe Flacco or Jay Cutler. It makes perfect economic sense. If anything, another league like the NBA makes far less sense, contract-wise, as any player at the top of his FA class or needing to re-sign gets a max deal. It's stupid. The NFL is much more merit-based once you get past your rookie contract--based on your worth not just to a specific team, but the worth of your position to the entire league.

It might not be "fair" to the non-QB's, but what they do is not valued at a premium in the NFL economy. That's just the way it is. And again, it makes perfect economic sense.

 
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