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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Articles tagged: Roger Goodell

Bill Belichick has supposedly become ‘good friends’ with Roger Goodell

Roger Goodell

Buried within a bombshell piece that was published by ESPN this week is a claim that New England Patriots fans may find impossible to believe — Bill Belichick gets along with Roger Goodell?

In his lengthy piece of investigative reporting, ESPN’s Seth Wickersham examines the ongoing power struggle involving Belichick, Tom Brady and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. One of the biggest takeaways is that Belichick was reportedly forced into trading Jimmy Garoppolo after Tom Brady wanted Garoppolo gone. Wickersham notes that there are some people who believe this could be Belichick’s last year with the Patriots.

And if that’s the case, will the coach remain involved with the NFL? Perhaps that is the plan, which may explain why Belichick has reportedly become “good friends” with Goodell.

But Belichick also has taken a longer view, as though he sees pieces of his impact leaguewide. He’s preparing assistant coaches for job interviews elsewhere, which he didn’t always do in years past. He has taken pride in Garoppolo’s 5-0 record in San Francisco — and in the fact that Kraft has confessed to people in the building that trading Garoppolo might have been a mistake. He reset a toxic relationship with the Colts with the Brissett trade. He has even become good friends with Goodell. The two men had a long and private meeting during the off week after the regular season, when the commissioner visited Foxborough.

Goodell has been viewed as public enemy No. 1 in New England since the Deflategate scandal erupted. The belief was that Goodell came down hard on Brady and the Patriots as a way to make amends with the other owners after he destroyed the Spygate tapes and let the organization off easy, in the eyes of some. Given all that has unfolded over the past three years, it would be a surprise if Belichick and Goodell had established a friendly relationship.

Wickersham’s assertion that Belichick and Goodell have become friends is a lot less significant than some of the other major takeaways from his story, but it should still leave Patriots fans scratching their heads.

Jerry Jones hints at next move after Roger Goodell extension

Jerry Jones

With all avenues apparently exhausted, Jerry Jones is coming to terms with another seven years of Roger Goodell as NFL commissioner — and looking for new ways to curb some of his power.

The Dallas Cowboys commissioner, who fought Goodell’s extension tooth and nail, had words of praise for the commissioner on Wednesday, conceding that Goodell loves the league and has been good for it. However, he also floated the possibility of looking into changes that could limit the power of the position.

It’s worth noting that Jones was once a steadfast Goodell ally, though the Ezekiel Elliott suspension seemed to be something of a breaking point. As recently as this week, he was hopeful that he could find a way to impede Goodell’s new contract, but it seems that he’s lost that fight. He knows it, too — that’s why he’s both trying to talk his way back onto Goodell’s good side while also looking at alternative methods of limiting Goodell’s power.

Roger Goodell plans to step aside as commissioner at end of new deal

Roger Goodell

Roger Goodell’s new five-year contract is expected to be his last.

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart confirmed to reporters Wednesday that Goodell has decided to step aside as commissioner when his new deal expires in 2024, and that he intends to devote part of his time in the years to come to seeking out a successor.

By the time 2024 rolls around, Goodell will have been commissioner for 18 years. That’s about the same amount of time that his predecessor Paul Tagliabue spent in the role.

One has to wonder if the opposition from one owner in particular played any role in Goodell’s decision to make this next contract his last. It seems likely it would have been either way.

Jerry Jones still believes he can delay Roger Goodell contract extension

Jerry Jones

Roger Goodell signed his contract extension with the NFL last week, which many believed would officially signal the end of Jerry Jones trying to create a barrier between his fellow team owners and the commissioner. Not surprisingly, Jones isn’t willing to give up the fight just yet.

ESPN’s Seth Wickersham reported on Monday that Jones proposed a resolution prior to Goodell signing the new deal that would have tabled the contract negotiations for six months. Jones’ proposal was submitted on Dec. 1 as part of the 32-page agenda for the league meeting that is taking place in Texas on Wednesday. The goal of the Dallas Cowboys owner was to convince his peers to put into place a six-month “moratorium on any and all actions taken pursuant” to Goodell’s new deal and prevent the contract from being finalized during that time.

Goodell reached an agreement with the NFL’s six-owner compensation committee and signed the deal anyway. Despite that, Jones said Tuesday on his weekly appearance with 105.3 The Fan that his proposal to delay Goodell’s extension is “still in place.”

“I’m not going to get into that because that’s why we have the meetings so that we can discuss issues of the time,” Jones said, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “I’m really looking forward to it. It will be a great opportunity to, as we all hope this time of year, I’ll assure you all of the owners around the NFL aren’t bailing out because they need a trip into town. They’re here because it’s important business and we’ll be able to get some very meaningful things done. In the long haul, we’ll really get some meaningful things done as and because of what we’ve been doing over the last few months.”

An NFL spokesman told Wickersham that “there is time on the agenda for all the owners to hear from the compensation committee” on Wednesday, but Jones is not a member of that committee.

Jones hasn’t said specifically what his issue with Goodell is, though he will probably still try to push for change with the way the league hands out disciplinary action. He could also threaten legal action once again, though he would likely meet the same type of opposition he did last time.

He can spin it any way he wants, but Jones has basically lost the fight. It’s an outcome that was inevitable.

Roger Goodell addresses report about him requesting private jet for life

Roger Goodell

Roger Goodell may have requested use of a private jet for life as part of his contract extension negotiations with the NFL, but that does not mean he is asking the league to pay for that service.

Last month, a report from ESPN indicated that Goodell wanted a $50 million salary, use of a private jet for life and health insurance coverage for life for his family. In an appearance on CNBC Monday, Goodell was asked about the private plane request. He tried to avoid the question at first before clarifying that he would reimburse the NFL any time he used a private jet owned by the league.

“Anything I’ll have as far as access to an airplane I pay for,” Goodell said.

That is consistent with what Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported about a month ago. In a follow-up to ESPN’s report, Florio clarified that Goodell asked for access to the private plane for life with an understanding that he would reimburse the NFL any time he used it.

Goodell recently signed his five-year extension with the league, and it could pay him up to $200 million in total. NFL players have already been reacting negatively to the terms of the deal, so it’s no wonder he felt inclined to clarify the report about the private jet.

Joe Thomas critical of NFL over Roger Goodell extension

Joe Thomas Cleveland Browns

Joe Thomas is among the many who are critical of the NFL for its contract extension with Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Goodell has been approved by the league’s compensation committee to receive a five-year contract extension that would take him through the 2023 season.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but some have estimated the contract could be worth around $200 million. Consider that Goodell made $34 million in 2014 and was seeking $50 million per season this time around, and that estimate might not be far off.

None of that is sitting well with Cleveland Browns All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas. He tweeted the following on Wednesday night:

It’s hard to argue with Thomas’ logic. And given how despised Goodell is for many, perhaps a change in leadership would have made sense. We know at least one person who was hoping for that.

Roger Goodell reportedly finalizes five-year extension with NFL

Roger Goodell

Jerry Jones has seemingly lost his battle with the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell.

Ken Belson of the New York Times reported on Wednesday that the NFL’s compensation committee has approved the terms of Goodell’s five-year extension with the league and is set to finalize the deal.

The compensation committee is comprised of six NFL team owners that were chosen by their peers — Jones included — back in May. Jones was originally supposed to represent the other 26 owners and serve as the de-facto seventh member of the committee, but he fell out of the good graces of most of his fellow owners.

Jones wanted the terms of Goodell’s deal to be put to a vote with all 32 owners after they were negotiated, but that would have defeated the purpose of assembling a compensation committee. He threatened legal action against the NFL at one point but withdrew the threat, claiming that the league agreed to let all 32 owners have a say. Based on what an NFL spokesman said recently, it’s unclear where Jones got that idea.

Jerry Jones did not reach deal with NFL over Roger Goodell’s contract

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones said last week that he has decided not to follow through on his threat to sue the NFL over Roger Goodell’s contract extension because the league agreed to allow all of its owners to have input. According to the NFL, Jerry Jones is lying.

In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said there has been no talk of having all 32 team owners vote on whether or not they agree with the terms of Goodell’s extension. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes, Lockhart reiterated that the six-owner compensation committee — which was assembled by all 32 owners back in May — holds the power to finalize Goodell’s new deal.

That sounds different from what Jones told Jarrett Bell of USA Today last week.

“I told the committee that I was standing down on legal action because they wanted to get input from all of the owners,” the Dallas Cowboys owner said.

When the NFL’s 32 team owners — Jones included — voted unanimously back in May to extend Goodell’s deal, they also agreed to let six select owners negotiate the terms of the extension. Jones was supposed to be the de-facto seventh member of the committee and act as the leader of the other 26 owners, but things have changed for obvious reasons. Now, he wants the compensation committee to poll the other 26 owners to see if they agree with the terms of Goodell’s extension before finalizing it.

NFL owners will be in New York on Tuesday and Wednesday for committee meetings, and Goodell’s contract will be among the topics discussed. Jones has not been invited to attend.

There have been no indications that Jones is going to get his way. While any talk of the NFL taking the so-called “nuclear option” with Jones probably an exaggeration, it seems like Goodell’s new deal is going to be finalized whether Jerry likes it or not.

Roger Goodell contract extension could reportedly be finalized this week

Roger Goodell

Despite the best efforts of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, it appears as though Roger Goodell is going to have a new contract in the coming days.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that NFL owners will push to finalize Goodell’s contract extension this week in advance of the owners meetings that will be held on Dec. 13 in Texas. While Jones has been determined to derail the negotiations, a compensation committee of six owners has already been given the power by its peers — Jones included — to determine Goodell’s compensation.

Jones has been able to recruit a few owners to join him in opposing Goodell’s new deal, but the majority want Goodell to sign his extension so the league can move on to other issues. With committee meetings being held on Tuesday and Wednesday, Goodell could have his new contract before the end of the week. More from La Canfora:

“It could happen really fast after the committee meetings,” said one ownership source, who anticipates Blank will use these meetings to “flush out any concerns face-to-face” and “allow for more dialogue with any owners – beyond Jerry and (Redskins owner) Dan (Snyder) – who may have substantive issues.” …

… Regardless, a majority of owners are in favor of wrapping this up as soon as possible and moving forward with Goodell as their face as they head into vital contract negotiations with the NFLPA and their broadcast partners early next decade. Goodell’s new contract would run through 2024. As we have reported throughout the season, formally completion of this contract was always inevitable, with the major tenants of the deal in place weeks ago, and Jones has always lacked the wherewithal and support to upend it, through legal channels or otherwise.

If you believe what Jones said recently, Goodell may have to wait a while longer. However, all indications have been that Jones will not have the votes needed to stop the process of finalizing the contract. Expect him to try all he can to achieve his goal in the coming days.

Jerry Jones confident he will get his way with Roger Goodell contract

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones has met a lot of opposition in his attempts to derail Roger Goodell’s contract extension talks, but the Dallas Cowboys owner has made it clear he has no plans to back down.

In his weekly appearance on 105.3 The Fan Tuesday, Jones indicated that he believes he is making progress in accomplishing whatever it is he is looking to accomplish.

“I think that ultimately we will influence what I want to influence,” he said, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

We know that Jones is trying to make life difficult for the six NFL team owners who have been tasked with negotiating the terms of Goodell’s extension, but Jones has yet to explicitly state what it is he is concerned about. Does he want Goodell to make less money? Have less power? Give up his job? Jones tried to shed some light on that.

“[T]he bottom line is he’s very powerful and you want to influence the commissioner,” he said. “There’s a big debate as to one of the biggest things a commissioner does is resolve disputes. He resolves them between everybody. So there’s an argument that he should be autonomous from being accountable. That’s legitimate.

“Well, the Commissioner covers the whole league, the business aspect of it, the discipline aspect of it, the rules, the officials. And, so, no one — no one — would like it if you had three or four owners that were paying the officials. No one would like that because it should be all the owners that pay the officials. But yet you want them to be independent. Well, all owners should be holding the commissioner accountable in my view. That’s the gist of this thing.”

As Florio notes, Jones’ remarks are a strong indication that the 75-year-old has an issue with the six-owner compensation committee. When the NFL’s 32 team owners voted unanimously back in May to extend Goodell’s deal, they also agreed to let the six owners negotiate the terms of the extension. Jones was supposed to be the de-facto seventh member and act as the leader of the other 26 owners, but things have changed for obvious reasons.

The biggest issue is most of Jones’ peers believe he is only making a fuss about Goodell’s extension because the commissioner decided to suspend Ezekiel Elliott six games. Prior to that punishment being handed down, Jones offered no opposition.

While Goodell is reportedly commanding an absurd compensation package, NFL owners have made a lot of money since he took over the league. They also want Goodell to represent him when the current labor deal expires in 2021. Jones may be confident he can influence the negotiations, but he still appears to be on an island by himself.