National Football League (NFL) owners have officially signed off on league commissioner Roger Goodell’s five-year contract extension.
The 58-year-old’s latest deal, which runs until 2024 and could be worth as much as US$200 million if certain financial targets are met, is likely to be his last, according to NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart.
Team owners voted in May to extend Goodell’s contract, giving the league’s compensation committee, which is led by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, the authority to finalise the agreement.
However, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has since made repeated attempts to derail those plans, arguing that Goodell was not deserving of a new contract while the NFL dealt with declining TV viewership and other controversies like this year’s national anthem protests.
With the contract now confirmed, part of Goodell’s role over the next seven years will be to find a suitable successor, although a likely candidate has yet to emerge. He will also be tasked with leading negotiations over the NFL’s domestic broadcast deals, the majority of which expire in 2022, and its next collective bargaining agreement, which comes to an end following the 2020 season.
While Goodell has often faced criticism, both from the public and league executives, for his handling of certain management and disciplinary issues, he is credited with having overseen huge increases in the NFL’s commercial revenues since he succeeded Paul Tagliabue in 2006. League-wide revenues are understood to have tripled during his tenure as commissioner to around US$14 billion annually, while franchises valuations have skyrocketed across the board.
Earlier this week, the NFL secured a new streaming and sponsorship deal with Verizon worth up to US$2.5 billion. Goodell has previously stated that his aim is to grow the league into a US$25 billion-a-year business by 2025.