NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has reached terms on a contract extension, ending a contentious negotiating process that placed Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at odds with the league’s six-owner compensation committee.
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The contract extension carries a five-year term that will keep Goodell in place as commissioner through 2023. Goodell will earn a guaranteed annual salary of $3.5 million, though he could earn as much as $50 million through incentives, sources told FOX Business senior correspondent Charles Gasparino.
“We are pleased to report that there is a nearly unanimous consensus among the ownership in favor of signing the contract extension now,” the NFL’s compensation committee said in a letter obtained by FOX Business. “We are pleased to have resolved this issue and we appreciate the strong support received from our partners.”
Aside from his salary, Goodell will also have access to a private plane for personal and business-related travel, according to sources familiar with the agreement. The NFL will cover travel expenses when Goodell uses the plane for business, though he will have to pay out of pocket for personal use.
Goodell will also have access to a private plane of his choosing when he retires, though he will have to pay for air travel, maintenance and crew fees, the sources added. An NFL spokesman declined to comment further about Goodell’s finances or air travel.
Negotiations dragged on for months amid reports that Jones opposed the proposed structure of Goodell’s contract extension. The Cowboys owner initially threatened to sue the NFL to block the deal, arguing that the league’s compensation committee had misled owners about its terms. After sparring with the league in the press for weeks, Jones backed off his threat.
Jones supported a performance-based contract for Goodell, rather than the fully-guaranteed pay structure of years past. The Cowboys owner also advocated that all 32 owners vote to approve a final contract extension, not just the six members of the compensation committee.
The NFL’s revenue has spiked under Goodell, reaching an estimated record $14 billion as of 2017. However, critics have questioned Goodell’s handling of several key issues, including the NFL’s concussion scandal, declining television ratings and national anthem protests that have rankled some fans and sponsors.
Goodell has earned more than $200 million since he became commissioner in 2006.
Fox Business’ Charles Gasparino and Brian Schwartz contributed to this story.