Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the four or five other owners in his corner want Commissioner Roger Goodell’s next contract to have less guaranteed money, and more incentives. That isn’t sitting well with Goodell.
Via Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta, Jr. of ESPN.com, Goodell is “furious” about the push to tie his total compensation to performance. Even though the incentives, if reached, would pay Goodell roughly the same that he currently earns, an unnamed source told Wickersham and Van Natta that Goodell “feels as if the owners have made a lot of money and he should be compensated accordingly,” and that “[t]he incentives thing really angers him.”
Of course, Goodell also has been paid plenty of money — roughly $200 million over the last 11 years.
The standoff, however it resolves, is fitting, given that the NFL under Goodell has a reputation for always driving a hard bargain when it comes to contractual negotiations. Finally, the NFL and Goodell are driving hard bargains with each other.
To the extent the Jones is pushing the issue aggressively in order to get Roger Goodell to quote Lee Corso and move on, that’s not likely; per Wickersham and Van Natta, the brouhaha has strengthened Goodell’s resolve to sign a long-term deal.
For now, Jones lacks the support to derail a deal that all 32 owners authorized the Compensation Committee to finalize back in May. In theory, more support is only one scandal away. However, the frustration that owners currently are feeling toward Jones, who has threatened litigation against the league over the issue, could cause them to stick with Goodell if only to spite Jones.