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#pounditWednesday, October 5, 2022

Articles tagged: Roger Goodell

Report reveals how much money NFL generated last year

Roger Goodell at a press conference

Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL still very much remains the cream of the American sports crop and their 2021 national revenue haul proves that. Somewhere, Roger Goodell is smiling.

Per Sportico, the NFL brought in a record $11.1 billion last year. That’s nearly half of the $25 billion in annual revenue goal set by Goodell in 2010 — a goal they intend to reach by 2027.

For each team, it means a revenue share of approximately $343.75 million.

It’s also worth noting that the $11.1 billion in revenue is 12% higher than it was in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The total, as Sportico outlines, represents “national media rights, league sponsorships and shared revenue and royalties from the league’s various affiliates and subsidiaries, such as NFL Properties, NFL International and NFL Enterprises.”

These numbers do not include local revenue. All but one of the NFL’s 32 teams (Green Bay Packers) operate privately, so those numbers are not disclosed. However, the Packers will release their 2021 revenue report in July which gives some level of comparative insight into the other teams’ finances.

Report: Deshaun Watson, NFL discipline talks ‘fell apart’ over big issue

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson has avoided criminal charges and settled the majority of the sexual assault lawsuits against him, but the Cleveland Browns star is still facing a lengthy suspension. While there have been discussions about a possible disciplinary settlement between the NFL, NFL Players Association and Watson’s camp, that may not be a realistic outcome.

USA Today’s Josina Anderson was told on Thursday that talks about an agreement for Watson’s discipline “fell apart” over the length of a potential suspension.

Sports legal expert Michael McCann noted that Watson’s side may be more motivated to reach a settlement. Once a disciplinary officer that was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA reaches a decision, Roger Goodell or someone chosen by the NFL commissioner would hear any appeal from Watson. The quarterback’s chances of having any suspension reduced or overturned would not be great.

The NFL is said to be seeking a lengthy suspension for Watson. There have been many times in the past where players are not charged criminally but are still suspended. That is likely to be the case with Watson, it is simply a matter of how long.

Roger Goodell grilled by congressman over banning Barstool founder Dave Portnoy

Roger Goodell at the podium

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell testified on Wednesday at a congressional hearing related to the investigation into alleged workplace misconduct with the Washington Commanders. He was asked a series of questions about the inner workings of the NFL, but one inquiry seemed to really take Goodell by surprise.

Rep. Jim Jordan asked Goodell why the NFL has banned Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy from attending league events. Goodell claimed he is “not familiar with that issue,” which Jordan said he cannot believe. You can see a video of the exchange below:

Jordan prefaced the question by asking if Goodell believes in the First Amendment. He also mentioned how Portnoy interviewed former president Donald Trump at the White House, yet the NFL won’t allow Portnoy into events like the Super Bowl.

Of course, Jordan was clearly trying to go viral. That was evident when he tweeted the video and tagged Portnoy and Barstool Sports. If creating a viral moment was the goal, Jordan succeeded.

It is impossible to believe that Goodell is unaware of Portnoy’s ban. The two have a long history. Portnoy and other personalities were arrested outside NFL headquarters in 2015 for protesting Tom Brady’s Deflategate suspension. Portnoy was handcuffed and kicked out of the Super Bowl in 2019.

More recently, Portnoy was the highest bidder on a charity auction prize that was supposed to result in him being able to watch an NFL game with Goodell. The NFL blocked the meeting, to no one’s surprise.

Goodell may not understand why he was asked about Portnoy on Wednesday, but he is undoubtedly familiar with the situation.

Roger Goodell provides notable update on Deshaun Watson situation

Deshaun Watson at a press conference

Mar 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson talks with the media during a press conference at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell on Tuesday provided a notable update on the Deshaun Watson situation.

Goodell spoke with the media at the Spring League Meeting in Atlanta, Ga. on Tuesday. The NFL commissioner said that the league was nearing the end of its investigation regarding the Cleveland Browns quarterback.

“I can’t give you a timeline. I think we’re nearing the end of the investigative period. Then it will be handled by our disciplinary officer,” Goodell said.

Watson is facing allegations of improper conduct during massages/while seeking massages from over 20 women. He was investigated by two separate grand juries in Texas but not criminally charged. The NFL is conducting a separate investigation.

According to terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the league has the power to discipline a player for conduct despite the absence of criminal charges. Watson could still very well be punished by the NFL and suspended over the allegations. Watson’s attorney recently hinted that they expect to hear about Watson’s punishment before too long. Goodell’s comments seem to fit that timeline.

Papa John says 2 NFL owners wanted him to take out Roger Goodell

Roger Goodell at a press conference

Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter was critical of the NFL over the way the league handled the national anthem controversy several years ago. Many people believed Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was behind the remarks, and a recent revelation from Schnatter lends credence to that theory.

In a recent interview with Jason Whitlock, Schnatter said Jones and Washington owner Daniel Snyder tried to get him to force Roger Goodell out as NFL commissioner in 2017. Jones was upset at the time about the national anthem controversy and Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension. Papa John’s was one of the NFL’s biggest sponsors at the time. The two ended their sponsorship deal in 2018.

Schnatter told Whitlock that Jones and Snyder “hate Goodell.” He also said Goodell is a “coward” and “incompetent” but that he was not in the business of doing dirty work for NFL team owners.

“They called and said, ‘You need to take this guy out. You’re the number one sponsor of the league, as far as notoriety and acceptance and association. Everybody loves you, they love Peyton [Manning, a Papa John’s franchisee and sponsor]. We hate Goodell,'” Schnatter recalled, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

“I said, ‘No. This is not my job to fire your Commissioner. He works for you. I just sell pizzas.’ I have a family of small businesses that, you know, probably 35 percent of our spend’s NFL, it’s down 20 percent. This behavior of not addressing the issue to the owners’ and players’ satisfaction is causing me and my franchisees a lot of problem. And this is going on now for two seasons. … I had a free shot from two owners to go after Goodell personally. I didn’t go after him in a vicious, venomous way. I just said, ‘Hey, grow up, be a leader, and fix the problem so my small business owners stop taking it on the chin.’”

Schnatter also claimed Snyder said Goodell is a “drunk, and yet we pay him $50 million a year.”

The timeline Schnatter provided indicates that Jones and Snyder wanted Schnatter to do more than just publicly pressure the NFL to address the national anthem issue. Papa John’s pulled some advertising at the time and said in a statement that “leadership starts at the top and this is an example of poor leadership.” The company then ended its sponsorship with the NFL but maintained endorsement deals with individual teams.

Schnatter later found himself embroiled in a different controversy. He stepped down as CEO of Papa John’s in early 2018. Things eventually cooled down between Jones and the NFL. It sounds like the situation could have gotten a lot uglier than it did.

Roger Goodell negotiating new deal with NFL despite previous plans

Roger Goodell at a press conference

Roger Goodell attached an end date to his tenure as NFL commissioner when he signed a contract extension several years ago, but it would appear his plans have changed.

Goodell is negotiating yet another contract extension with the NFL’s team owners, Ben Fischer and John Ourand of Sports Business Journal report. The deal, which is expected to be finalized in the coming months, would be Goodell’s fourth contract extension since he was elected commissioner in 2006.

Owners and executives are said to be pleased with the way Goodell has navigated through the pandemic. He also helped the NFL secure massive new media deals last year that total over $100 billion. Goodell is expected to receive “overwhelming support” in his latest extension talks.

Goodell, who will turn 63 on Saturday, last signed a five-year extension in 2017. An NFL spokesperson announced at the time that the commissioner would step aside when the deal expired in 2024. That is no longer the plan.

Goodell has once again found himself having to deal with major controversies, which is something the owners feel he has done well throughout his tenure. The league has come under fire for its lack of transparency in the investigation into workplace misconduct with the Washington Commanders, and owner Daniel Snyder is now facing sexual assault allegations. The NFL will also reportedly investigate serious tanking allegations against Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and is dealing with public backlash over its perceived lack of diversity.

Despite all that, the NFL is as profitable as ever. Goodell has reportedly made more than $60 million in each of the past two years, so you can understand why he is in no rush to leave. Without a clear successor in place, NFL owners would rather stick with the status quo.

Photo: Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL issues response to Jon Gruden lawsuit

Jon Gruden smiles

Jon Gruden filed a lawsuit against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday, and the league has wasted little time responding.

After the details of Gruden’s lawsuit surfaced on Friday, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy issued a statement calling the allegations “entirely meritless.”

Gruden’s 21-page lawsuit accuses the NFL and Goodell of leaking damaging emails in order to force him into resigning as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. The 58-year-old’s attorneys say the NFL orchestrated a “Soviet-style character assassination” on Gruden and intentionally withheld the emails for months in order to inflict maximum damage when they were released.

The lawsuit also says the initially NFL leaked one email — the one in which Gruden mocked NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith over the size of his lips — and then threatened to release more if Gruden remained the coach of the Raiders. More emails leaked days later in which Gruden used a gay slur and other problematic language. That’s when he resigned.

Gruden’s emails, which came from the 2011-2018 time period, were uncovered during the NFL’s investigation into workplace misconduct allegations against the Washington Football Team. More than 650,000 emails were reviewed as part of the investigation, but the NFL has reportedly claimed Gruden’s were the only damaging ones. The lawsuit cites that as evidence that Gruden was railroaded.

Someone who spoke with Gruden over a week ago said the former coach believes the “truth” will eventually come out.

The lawsuit may not be the only one the NFL faces over the situation.

Photo: Aug 18, 2021; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden during a joint practice against the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Gruden files lawsuit against NFL, Roger Goodell

Jon Gruden in a Raiders hat

There has been speculation that Jon Gruden could file a lawsuit against the NFL since he was forced to resign last month, and the former Las Vegas Raiders coach has done just that.

Gruden filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court on Thursday that names the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell as defendants. According to documents obtained by David Ferrara of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Gruden’s lawyers claim in the 21-page complaint that the league intentionally leaked damaging emails to force the former Super Bowl champion to step down.

“Through a malicious and orchestrated campaign, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell sought to destroy the career and reputation of Jon Gruden, the former head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit accuses the NFL of leaking the first email and then threatening to release more if Gruden remained in his position as Raiders coach. Gruden says the NFL intentionally withheld the emails for months in order to release them when they could cause maximum damage.

“When their initial salvo did not result in Gruden’s firing or resignation, Defendants ratcheted up the pressure by intimating that further documents would become public if Gruden was not fired,” the lawsuit reads. “They followed through with this threat by leaking another batch of documents to the New York Times for an October 11, 2021 article.”

The first email surfaced on Friday, Oct. 8 in a Wall Street Journal article. In it, Gruden mocked NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith over the size of his lips. The email was described as Gruden using a racist trope against Smith, though the coach disputed that and said he was calling Smith a liar.

More emails leaked days later in a New York Times article. Gruden used a gay slur and other problematic language in those emails.

The emails Gruden sent came from the 2011-2018 time period. They were uncovered during the NFL’s investigation into the Washington Football Team regarding the franchise’s workplace environment. More than 650,000 emails were reviewed as part of the investigation, but the NFL has reportedly claimed Gruden’s were the only damaging ones.

Someone who spoke with Gruden over a week ago said the former coach believes the “truth” will eventually come out.

The lawsuit is not a surprise, and it may not be the only one the NFL faces over the situation.

Photo: Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden takes the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell reportedly made insane amount of money in two-year span

Roger Goodell

Roger Goodell’s truly unfathomable compensation packages have been the worst-kept secrets in sports for quite some time, but it sounds like the NFL commissioner managed to set new personal records over the past two years.

According to a report from Ken Belson of the New York Times, Goodell made roughly $128 million from the periods between 2019-20 and 2020-21. Roughly 90 percent of the money was in the form of bonuses, and much of it came after he “helped secure such favorable labor and media deals” for the NFL.

Goodell was paid $63,900,050 in each of the last two years, which reportedly makes him one of the five highest-paid CEOs in the world.

The NFL has secured several new television and media deals over the past two years. There is also a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and NFL Players Association. While Goodell has been criticized numerous times for his handling of player issues and investigations, he has presided over an extremely profitable stretch for the most popular sport in America.

Goodell gave up his salary at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, but he clearly managed to do just fine. We know from previous reports that he makes an astronomical amount of money. That isn’t going to change anytime soon.

Raiders owner hints he believes NFL leaked Jon Gruden emails?

Mark Davis

Jon Gruden resigned as the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders this week after numerous offensive emails that he sent were made public, and a lot of people are wondering what led to the private emails being leaked. Raiders owner Mark Davis seemingly subscribes to one of the more popular theories.

Davis was asked about the Gruden situation on Wednesday, and he did not have much to say. He did, however, throw a subtle jab at the NFL.

What exactly does that mean? The NFL has not handed out any disciplinary action in relation to Gruden’s emails. There have been no suspensions and no fines. If Davis is saying the NFL has “all the answers,” that is seemingly an indication that he believes the league is behind the email leaks.

The first Gruden email was leaked last Friday. In it, the former coach insulted NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith about the size of his lips. The headlines happened to come on the same day Smith was facing a vote for reelection. Many people believe the leak was timed to aid Smith’s reelection efforts. It’s possible that someone in the NFL wanted Smith to remain in his position.

More emails were released on Monday night. Those revealed that Gruden used gay slurs and insulted NFL commissioner Goodell multiple times. One theory is that Goodell was furious when he saw the emails and that someone from the league leaked them to force the Raiders to act.

Whatever the case, Davis doesn’t seem pleased with the NFL over the situation. That is a strong indication that he believes the league railroaded Gruden, even if he was disappointed with Gruden for the content of the emails.