Though the precise benefits of non-profit status for the league office aren’t specifically known, the costs include disclosing information that the NFL would surely prefer remain private.
Case in point — but for the fact that the league office must make public disclosures in order to comply with the federal law that deflects taxes from the NFL and focuses them on the teams, we wouldn’t know how much specific persons are paid by the league.
Those persons include former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who has been appointed by current Commissioner Roger Goodell to preside over Appeal Hearing 2.0 in the bounty case. According to the most recent Form 990 filed by the NFL, Tagliabue received $8.58 million in deferred compensation and retirement benefits for the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2011.
While it doesn’t mean that Tagliabue will do that which he’s smart enough to know Goodell wants him to do, it’s another reason for the players to be leery about the decision to hand the baton from one Commissioner to another.
The proof will be in the proverbial pudding, starting with the question of whether Tagliabue will require the presence at the October 30 hearing of the two key witnesses in the case — former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo.