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Goodell finishes third in NFL compensation

If/when a lockout commences, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s annual salary of $1 per year will put him well behind all other NFL employees.

But even if Goodell’s pay doesn’t take a major plunge, he still isn’t the highest-paid league employee.

According to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, NFL Network chief Steve Bornstein earned $12.65 million during the league’s most recent fiscal year, which ended March 31, 2010.  Goodell earned only (only?) $9.69 million.

(Rosenthal thinks Bornstein should drop his pay to $1 until NFLN is available in all of New York City with a satellite dish.)

“I wouldn’t compare Bornstein to Goodell,” sports and entertainment compensation adviser Cathy Griffin told Kaplan.  (She apparently only moonlights as a foul-mouthed comedian.)  “I would compare Bornstein to people in the TV business, which has a high compensation level.”

Bottom line?  Goodell apparently aimed for the wrong job.

But there’s good news.  After Goodell retires, his wages will go up.  Former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue received $12.51 million, via salary, bonuses, deferred pay, and retirement pay.

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32 Responses to “Goodell finishes third in NFL compensation”
  1. freedomispopular says: Jan 31, 2011 1:27 PM

    Hear that Goodell? You’ll get more money if you retire. So go ahead and retire. Now.

  2. tryingmybest2 says: Jan 31, 2011 1:29 PM


  3. coutre says: Jan 31, 2011 1:33 PM

    The economic model for the league office is just as bad as the CBA.
    Bornstein makes that much? The NFL network is horrible. Its a bunch of reruns.
    Tagliabue is still on the payroll? Something is awfully fishy about that.

  4. meso0rnery says: Jan 31, 2011 1:38 PM

    Goodell looks like Goldmember from Austin Powers

  5. juancorsair says: Jan 31, 2011 1:39 PM

    Goodell earned only (only?) $9.69 million.

    The dude doesn’t deserve $9.69/hour with the utter incompetance he has displayed since taking over as Commish. FIRE HIM NOW!

  6. burntorangehorn says: Jan 31, 2011 1:48 PM

    No link in the story? I’d like to read about the origin of the remaining $8.69M he earns.

    Of course, the whiny players earn more than any of these guys. Peyton Manning led all NFL personnel with $30.8M in 2010–more than twice what Bornstein earned. $15M of that was in compensation from the team, so if we’re only counting salary (not endorsements), he’s still the highest-paid guy. And while there are lots of guys earning the minimum salary, they still average well over the average salary for non-player staff.

  7. Spoonthis says: Jan 31, 2011 1:52 PM

    The owners are crying about money and yet they are paying someone more to not run their league.

    No matter what GODell is getting paid is too much.

  8. worldsgreatestbearsfan says: Jan 31, 2011 1:54 PM

    Caption the picture:

    This is not the NFL commissioner you are looking for

  9. kingjoe1 says: Jan 31, 2011 1:55 PM

    Goodell is a very good commish. He has taken control of the players and teams and cleaned up the league. Compare that to the madhouse the NBA is, and you will see just how well deserved his salary really is.
    All you dude’s who get angry at any successful authority ought to point to something specific he has done poorly; it might actual make you opinions a bit useful.

  10. commoncents says: Jan 31, 2011 2:00 PM

    Goodell is the worst commissioner the NFL has ever had. He’s inconsistent and on a weekly basis, tries to make up or change existing rules.
    Will he allow defensive players to hit at all next year?
    Will he ever protect the players right to privacy in their own locker room?
    Will the Jets always get preferential treatment??

    Ex players deserve a pension and current players deserve the performance pay they used to get but Goodell deserves to be fired!!

  11. closisgood says: Jan 31, 2011 2:00 PM

    He is a bit of a nancy.

  12. silkyjohnson937 says: Jan 31, 2011 2:05 PM

    Goodell is nothing more than a politician, ask him a direct question and you get a vague answer that in no way shape or form relates to the question he was asked

  13. lhaveprettyfeet says: Jan 31, 2011 2:22 PM

    According to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, NFL Network chief Steve Bornstein earned $12.65 million during the league’s most recent fiscal year, which ended March 31, 2010. Goodell earned only (only?) $9.69 million.

    Must have taken a while to crunch the numbers. The league year ended March 31, 2010 and you are reporting this January 31, 2011?

  14. zzzaaasd says: Jan 31, 2011 2:25 PM

    Rate the big 3:

    Goodell, Stern, Selig

    Now tell me you don’t like Goodell. Goodell is by far a better commish that Selig who is an old hack and Stern who looks like a little kid who got picked on and has been waiting to display his power.

    1. Goodell
    2. Selig
    3. Nobody
    4. Stern

  15. broncsfan says: Jan 31, 2011 2:25 PM

    @ kingjoe:
    Granted, a lot of the stuff Goodell has done that irks me has roots in the late Tagliabu era (BTW, that’s an absurd pension!), and is also being pushed by owners and other NFL execs, but Goodell has had a hand in a lot of things that remind me of CEOs who sabotage the long-term interests of their companies to put up great quarterlies in the short term. To wit:

    – Doing his best to water down one of the greatest things about the league – the crucial importance of each regular season game – by adding games and, much worse, pushing to expand the playoff field to 14 (he’s toned this down, but you can believe this will be the next push after 18 games)

    – Failing to strike a reasonable deal that would have kept Monday Night Football on a Network, leading to its slow slide out of must-see, water-cooler-talk status, to something just serious fans watch

    – Pushing for more and more games on the NFL Network, without first cutting the deals that would have the Network in most homes

    – Not even pretending to represent the interests of the players as well as the owners, leaving the league without any kind of moderate figure to credibly mediate negotiations

  16. scotchrocks says: Jan 31, 2011 2:50 PM

    The NFL is a billion dollar business, so $10 million is less than I expected.

    Tags isn’t the only person in sports receiving deferrred money, so I don’t see why it’s a big deal.

  17. juancorsair says: Jan 31, 2011 2:59 PM

    kingjoe1 says:

    All you dude’s who get angry at any successful authority ought to point to something specific he has done poorly; it might actual make you opinions a bit useful.

    How many ways does Goddell do a horrendous job as commissioner? Let’s see if we can count them:

    1. Allowing degenerates like Michael Vick and Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones to be reinstated back into the league.

    2. Despite the statistical evidence that proves that winning the toss does not give a team the advantage, he changed the traditional Sudden Death overtime rules simply because the Minnesota fanbase whined about it for months.

    3. Trying to minimaze injuries in preparation for an 18 game season that nobody wants by doing his best to eliminate the hard hits most of us watch the game to see. In keeping with this mentality, I fully expect his next announcement will be the first female NFL player.

    4. Last but not least, he worries more about “trash talking” than the fact that the league is on the verge of a cancelled season in 2011 due to a lockout.

    Now, can you please list the reasons you think this idiot is doing a good job? It may make YOUR opinion “a bit useful” as well.

  18. steelersmichele says: Jan 31, 2011 3:07 PM

    kingjoe1 says: All you dude’s who get angry at any successful authority ought to point to something specific he has done poorly; it might actual make you opinions a bit useful.

    This “dudette” would like to point out a few examples:

    Inconsistent fining of players. Finnegan and Johnson were fined $25,000 for their fighting incident. Seymour got $25,000 for hitting Roethlisberger in the face. OchoCinco gets fined $25,000 for tweeting. Wait, you means OchoCinco’s fines go up because he’s a repeat offender? James Harrison was fined $75,000 for his first hit, and then his next hit was only $25,000. How about $5,000 for not wearing the correct color socks, wearing the wrong color chin-strap, etc?

    When asked to produce a copy of his fining system so it could be printed for everyone to see, Goodell declined to produce it—which means it doesn’t exist.

    How about his letter to the teams where he says fines for uniform violations will INCREASE in the playoffs. $50,000 first offense and $75,000 second offense. The Pro Bowl is an automatic $50,000 and the SB is an automatic $100,000. Seriously? With the ongoing labor dispute, Goodell is worried about increasing fines for uniforms in the playoffs?

    How about his threats to fine players for excessive trash talking in the playoffs? Really? With all the trash-talking the Jets did, Goodell threatened but didn’t dole out one single fine.

    Not to mention Goodell has significantly IGNORED the referee situation. There is no consistency with calls in the NFL. In the conference games, there were two catches where the ball was in the receivers hand as it hit the ground—in one game it was ruled a catch and in the second game it was ruled incomplete. Same play, two different calls. Not to mention that inconsistent roughing the passer, excessive celebration, holding, and pass interference calls made every week.

    You want more examples? I can give them to you.

  19. gdonz14 says: Jan 31, 2011 3:15 PM

    If Bornstein makes more than Goodell and Goodell is third. Who is second? Or if Bornstein second which I highly doubt who is # 1? Greg Aiello? No way but he should be. Hardest working man at 280 Park. Don’t state a fact in a headline that only serves to be an incomplete statement in the post.

  20. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Jan 31, 2011 3:15 PM

    “Former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue received $12.51 million, via salary, bonuses, deferred pay, and retirement pay.”

    Anytime you pay the “former” anything more than the current employee the system is broken. How in the heck can Tags pull in $12.5M for NOT working? Salary and bonuses? Aren’t those reserved for people, that you know, work? Freaking absurd.

  21. philriverslovespenis says: Jan 31, 2011 3:20 PM

    I wonder how much Goodell makes from the Steelers for all the calls they have received/will receive that have resulted in them winning the Lombardi trophy. That oughta get the band wagoners going lol

  22. lhaveprettyfeet says: Jan 31, 2011 3:24 PM

    Every one is forgetting Goodell eliminated the choreographed Touchdown Celebration Dances and/or Performances!

  23. kingjoe1 says: Jan 31, 2011 3:27 PM

    BF and JC – How can you be critical of making the NFL Owners more money creating a the richest TV contracts in history?
    The NFL network started games on Thursday while Tags was commish. That Thursday night game is why the NFL network has expanded the way it has. Cable and Sat provider will only added if public pressure is strong enough. So if you are in an area which cannot get it, than I suspect you live in a non-football oriented community. Probably lots of minivans with soccer balls magnets on the back.
    Personally I love the 18 games schedule, and I think will be a great addition to the NFL season.
    Allowing Vick and Pacman back in is the least of the issues. Neither of these folks killed anyone. What about Leonard Little? Not Goodell.
    I think second chances is what America should be about. IN fact I dont think we give enough of them.
    The obvious sexist remark about women in the NFL was childish.
    As for the current negotiations, they are what they are, negotiations. Both sides say stupid things, this happens in EVERY union negotiation.

    As for my information, i put it in my original post. He has done a great job cleaning up the league, setting a quality standard that pales in comparison to Tag ever did or someone like Stern currently does.

  24. melikefootball says: Jan 31, 2011 3:28 PM

    How does anyone respect this guy? After watching the interview with King, I have to shake my head. Here is the head of the NFL, who usually brings up the answer ” This is a league issue and will stay in the league ” and yet he now can tell all the ins and out on a couple players and there suspensions. He can talk of a player in a big gasme this week and he tells none of his players back him. Hs head has certainly out grown his body. Why the owners aren’t asking for his head on a stick is beyond me on how he has done things his year. I thought he was heading in a positive direction, till this year. Instead of talking to a sports writter he should be spending this time resolving the lockout. Yea he care about the FANS. He has tarnished the name on the NFL football.

  25. laxer37 says: Jan 31, 2011 3:34 PM

    Goodell makes almost as much as he fined James Harrison this year.

  26. thingamajig says: Jan 31, 2011 3:34 PM

    “After Goodell retires, his wages will go up. Former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue received $12.51 million, via salary, bonuses, deferred pay, and retirement pay”.

    WOW. Thats almost as much as what some of the local politicians make when they retire.

  27. cletusvandam says: Jan 31, 2011 4:29 PM

    I guess we know where the players money goes when they get fined now

  28. burntorangehorn says: Jan 31, 2011 4:57 PM

    Goodell has tried to institute some great policies, like fines for hits and heavier suspensions for off-field issues, but all the whining players and media backlash has led to pressure on him to back off of his hard stance.

    And for those of you blaming him for work stoppage, you guys need to correct the target if your ire. It’s the owners and players, not Goodell, who are responsible. And if you clowns will actually open up your brains or browsers, remember that Tags timed his retirement to happen AFTER hammering out the CBA that owners recently voided. That’s on Tags, not Goodell.

  29. jc1958coo says: Jan 31, 2011 5:17 PM

    goodell says the players need a pay cut!! is that the most ironic thing you’ve heard in your life time? up- down

  30. sjoyner59 says: Jan 31, 2011 5:48 PM

    Cant we bring Paul Tagliebue out of retirement to take the commissioners job back,I liked the NFL a lot more when he was calling the shots.You take the job for granted like when Tagliabue was commish….that is until somebody else steps in and runs the league differently ,too heavy handed

  31. burntorangehorn says: Feb 1, 2011 12:29 AM

    sjoyner–too bad Tagliabue is behind all this labor mess. He was the guy who crafted the CBA that the idiot owners signed then voided.

  32. kibawib says: Apr 17, 2011 10:20 AM

    kingjoe01–” changed the traditional Sudden Death overtime rules simply because the Minnesota fanbase whined about it for months”

    Wrong, Joe. In fact, Minnesota voted AGAINST the new OT rule. Get your facts straight. It enhances your credibility.

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