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NFL

Roger Goodell signs contract extension that could reach nearly $40 million per year

| Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, 4:39 p.m.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the opening of NFL Experience in Times Square in New York, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. The new attraction has four floors of interactive exhibits and games about football and the NFL.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the opening of NFL Experience in Times Square in New York, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. The new attraction has four floors of interactive exhibits and games about football and the NFL.

NEW YORK — Roger Goodell signed a five-year contract extension to remain commissioner of the NFL through 2024.

A memo from the NFL's compensation committee to team owners and obtained Wednesday by the Associated Press confirms that Goodell and committee chairman Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, have signed the extension.

That extension has been a source of controversy because Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones objected to the process.

All 32 owners approved in May the compensation committee's power to negotiate and sign a deal with Goodell, who replaced Paul Tagliabue in 2006.

Since he took over, the league's total revenues have more than doubled to over $13 billion.

A person familiar with the contract told the Associated Press it is worth almost $200 million, with a base of $40 million. But the deal is incentive-laden, the person added, speaking on condition of anonymity because the contract numbers are not made public.

Among those incentives are continued increases in revenues, stable or rising television ratings, a new labor agreement with the players — the NFL-NFL Players Association deal expires in 2021 — and how much the NFL gets in rights fees when it renews its broadcast contracts.

"Our committee unanimously supports the contract and believes that it is fully consistent with 'market' compensation and the financial and other parameters outlined to the owners at our May 2017 meeting, as well as in the best interests of ownership," Blank wrote in the memo.

"We also have expressed in those conversations our strong and unanimous belief that we should proceed to sign the agreement now, consistent with the unanimous May resolution and to avoid further controversy surrounding this issue.? [sic] We are pleased to report that there is a nearly unanimous consensus among the ownership in favor of signing the contract extension now."

That would not include Jones, whose objections surfaced publicly after his star running back, Ezekiel Elliott, ran out of legal options to appeal a six-game suspension handed down by Goodell under the NFL's personal conduct penalty.

Jones was not immediately available for comment.

The NFL's next owners meeting is in Dallas next Wednesday. Jones had hoped to delay the new deal with Goodell until then, when he could personally raise his concerns to other owners.

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