Goodell’s confidants, advisors urging him to sign new contract extension now

Goodell’s confidants, advisors urging him to sign new contract extension now

With Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on a crusade to derail his contract extension at a time that the vast majority of owners support completion of a new deal, commissioner Roger Goodell is being urged by many close to him to sign the contract and put the matter behind him.

There have been concerns at the league office, as previously reported, about potential backlash from politicians like President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, not to mention Jones himself, once the mega-contract is announced. The current political climate in the NFL is daunting to navigate with the ongoing protest controversy. Hence, some of the delays with putting the contract to bed despite it being drawn up by lawyers weeks ago and with all key negotiations essentially complete, sources said.

Now, given the bizarre events of the past week, with Jones threatening to sue the league — even though his case is seen to have little merit within league circles given that Jones was among those who voted unanimously to extend Goodell’s deal in the spring — and with almost constant media reports on the contract in recent weeks, Goodell is being told by many he trusts on such matters to put pen to paper. Despite a report that Goodell was “furious” over the structure of his new deal, several ownership sources have maintained that is anything but the case and that talks between the owners’ Compensation Committee, led by Falcons owner Arthur Blank, and Goodell’s representatives went smoothly as expected.

Most of the major issues raised by those owners dealt with the size, scope and compensation of many other high-ranking league employees, source said, long a simmering issue that has become more intense given the ongoing issue of handling pregame player protests. Issues with ratings and quality of play have become more acute as well, but overall the business of football remains robust — especially when compared to other pro sports — and with looming negotiations ahead with both the NFLPA and the NFL’s broadcast partners, the overwhelming sentiment among owners is to remain committed and unified with Goodell leading the charge as the league faces those massive talks.

Some in the NFL office anticipate the contract matter is fully resolved before Thanksgiving and note that as much as Jones has railed against it in recent weeks, he has not actually derailed or impacted the process.


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