The NFL is the ultimate model of stability in pro sports, symbolized no better than the fact that the league has had only three commissioners since 1960. That stability will now extend through at least the 2018 season after the league unanimously approved a contract extension for current commissioner Roger Goodell.
The decision to extend Goodell's deal was made at a Dec. 14 league meeting in Dallas, but was announced today, less than two weeks before Super Bowl XLVI. Goodell succeeded former commissioner Paul Tagliabue in 2006. Tagliabue took over from Pete Rozelle in 1989.
“The commissioner has performed his duties in an exemplary fashion since his election in 2006 and the membership has determined that the interests of the NFL would be best served by a continuation of the commissioner’s employment beyond the terms of his current employment contract," the resolution said.
The resolution authorized the Compensation Committee to complete negotiations on a new contract, the third of Goodell’s tenure as commissioner. His original five-year contract was extended in 2009. The new contract continues until March 31, 2019.
“I speak on behalf of 32 NFL club owners in saying we are fortunate to have Roger Goodell as our commissioner,” said Falcons owner Arthur Blank, chairman of the compensation committee. “Since becoming commissioner in 2006, the NFL – already the leader in professional sports – has gotten even stronger. As evidenced by this contract extension, we have great confidence in Roger’s vision and leadership of the NFL. Our clubs, players and fans could not ask for a better CEO.”
Goodell, 52, led negotiations on a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement that was agreed on last July.
“It is a privilege for me to serve the NFL,” Goodell said in a statement. “It is the only place I have ever wanted to work. I am grateful for the contributions and counsel of NFL owners in managing our league, the talented staff that supports us, and the players and coaches that perform their magic on the field. It is truly a team effort. I am eagerly looking ahead to the challenge of building on our momentum and doing all we can to improve our game for the fans and everyone that is part of our league.”