The NFL clubs have agreed to a new contract with Roger Goodell that extends his term as commissioner through the 2018 season, the NFL confirmed today.
The announcement was made by Atlanta Falcons Owner and Chairman Arthur M. Blank, who serves as chairman of the NFL Compensation Committee.
NFL clubs unanimously approved a resolution at a December 14 league meeting in Dallas that said, “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 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.
Other members of the Compensation Committee are Tom Benson (New Orleans), Pat Bowlen (Denver), Robert Kraft (New England), Jerry Richardson (Carolina), and Steve Ross (Miami).
“I speak on behalf of 32 NFL club owners in saying we are fortunate to have Roger Goodell as our commissioner,” Blank said. “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, has focused his priorities on successfully growing the NFL’s popularity and leadership role by strengthening the game and all 32 NFL franchises through innovation.
The game on the field is more competitive and exciting than ever. As a result, fan interest in the NFL has soared under Goodell’s leadership, including the largest television audiences in league history, 23 of the 25 highest-rated programs of the current television season, enormous growth in online and social media engagement, and other measures of success and popularity. The NFL’s status as America’s most popular sports league has grown under Goodell.
“It is a privilege for me to serve the NFL,” Goodell said. “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.”
In his first six seasons as commissioner, Goodell has addressed a wide range of issues to improve the NFL, including player health and safety; the medical needs and pensions of retired players; personal conduct; labor and revenue sharing; stadium construction; media innovation; and international development.
In 2011, his leadership helped secure a landmark 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association, the longest in the history of professional sports. That was followed by long-term extensions of the NFL’s television contracts. The nine-year agreements with CBS, FOX, and NBC are the longest ever for NFL broadcast television contracts and continue the NFL’s tradition of being the only sports league that shows all of its regular-season and playoff games on free, over-the-air television.
In addition to nurturing the NFL to new heights of fan popularity, Goodell has led the way in creating new playing rules, policies, and programs to make the game better and safer. This includes $100 million committed to medical research during the 10-year term of the new CBA. Goodell’s leadership on health and safety has had a significant positive impact on all levels of football and other sports.
During his tenure, Commissioner Goodell also has strengthened the league’s anti-steroids policy, launched innovative media initiatives and a new series of international regular-season games, improved the NFL’s news media access policies to better serve fan interest, and revamped and enhanced the league’s programs to support and assist players and former players in their lives off the field.
Prior to taking command as commissioner in September of 2006, Goodell managed a wide array of football and business operations during a 24-year career in the NFL that started with an internship in the NFL office in 1982 under former Commissioner Pete Rozelle.
After spending the 1983 season as an intern with the New York Jets, Goodell returned to the league office in 1984 as an assistant in the public relations department. Under Rozelle’s successor, Paul Tagliabue, Goodell served in various senior executive roles and was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2001. As chief operating officer, Goodell was responsible for the league’s football operations and officiating departments in addition to supervising all league business functions.
Goodell is a native of Jamestown, New York. He spent his high school years in Bronxville, New York, where he captained the football, basketball, and baseball teams as a senior and was named athlete of the year at Bronxville High School. Goodell graduated magna cum laude from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1981 with a degree in economics.
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