Robert Kraft: We lucked out getting Roger Goodell as commissioner


Most NFL players say they disapprove of the way Commissioner Roger Goodell does his job, and there’s a vocal contingent of NFL fans who disapprove of Goodell as well. But there’s little doubt that with the NFL in better financial shape than ever, Goodell’s bosses are happy with the work he’s doing.

Those bosses are the owners of the 32 teams, and as Patriots owner Robert Kraft put it in an Outside the Lines profile of Goodell, the owners consider themselves fortunate to have a commissioner as good as Goodell.

“I think we really lucked out with him as commissioner,” Kraft said. “I think Roger, once he assumed this position, really runs the NFL like he owns it and thinks like an owner.”

The fact is, however, that Goodell is not an owner, and the criticism Goodell gets from players and fans often centers on a belief that Goodell cares more about the good of the owners’ bottom line than he cares about the good of the game. Kraft says that Goodell doesn’t need to be popular to be doing a good job.

“To be honest, I really don’t focus on how players view the commissioner,” Kraft said. “All I know is he’s very tough but very fair, and he’s doing a job, and it’s not going to help him win popularity contests. I want him to do things just the way he’s doing them.”

As long as Goodell’s bosses — the team owners — are happy, he’ll keep doing what he’s been doing.

90 responses to “Robert Kraft: We lucked out getting Roger Goodell as commissioner

  1. Yeah, Kraft, YOU “lucked out” because if Goodell wasn’t your puppet and a real commissioner was in place, your head coach would have been suspended a year for spying. And your team would have lost multiple draft picks beyond the mere pittance of penalties you got.

  2. It’s no surprise that the 1% love him, he has turned the NFL into a cash cow. But for the average fan his influence is largely disliked. Players generally dislike him also. But the owners call the shots so unfortunately he isn’t going anywhere. Obsession with avarice and greed can only end badly!

  3. That is the owners lucked out until the employees get upset and strike, and then everyone loses! There has to be a balance, and Goodell doesn’t have it.

  4. Lots of people who frequent this site hate Goodell, however he is looking to the long term future of the NFL. If he simply hid his head in the sand, All of the law suits would end up swallowing the leauge…possibly turning football into something much different that what you are all complaining about.

  5. Regretfully, the owner’s bottom line is a key factor in continuing the NFL successes; however, I’m not sure the Commissioner tends to all facets of the game or the league equally. He doesn’t reaaly see the whole field.

  6. The majority of the players that do not like him is because for the first time in there life someone is making them be accountable for there actions. Most are over payed athletically gifted babies.

  7. Throughout history and across all sports most commissioners were either disliked or at best viewed with indifference, this s not a new thing.

  8. he’s right. gooddell is doing a great job, and football has never been more popular. i say this as an owner of a packers share, which entitles me to vote and have a voice on who is commissioner. worthless “stock”, eh?

  9. I really like Goodell. Revenue numbers don’t lie. A lot of people who worked for Steve Jobs didn’t like him either, but looked how Apple thrived under him.

  10. “really runs the NFL like he owns it and thinks like an owner.”

    Ok. Confirmed. So we conclude that he does not think like a player (that’s why they need a union) and he does not think like a fan. Therefore, we can conclude that players and fans will always get the short end of the deal.

    I’m not complaining, it’s good to be reminded that this is reality.

  11. jnbnet says: Mar 3, 2013 12:49 PM

    Lots of people who frequent this site hate Goodell, however he is looking to the long term future of the NFL. If he simply hid his head in the sand, All of the law suits would end up swallowing the leauge…possibly turning football into something much different that what you are all complaining about.
    No, Goodell does not have his head in the sand. It is firmly planted somewhere else.

  12. I support many of the changes made the last 10 years but Goodell and the competition committee have taken steps that make it more Arena Football League than NFL. The ticky tack 15 yard penalties fouls when a QB is touched in pocket- one of most exciting plays the KR replaced by instant commercial-multiple flags and fines for hard clean hits. Defense has been getting taken out of these games and I know purists appreciate it just as much as great offensive play.

  13. The thing that I hate about Goodell is that he is so “visible.” He places himself at the center of everything. All other commissioners were behind the scenes guys. We never knew they existed except in rare cases when they stepped forward to do something. But Goodell is constantly doing things. For example, his constant fining of players for every infraction.

    The real commish, Paul Tagliabue, who gets only 4M as a “consultant” Roger got 30M?

  15. Ha. This is the same guy that profits fron feeding kis that processed crap macaroni and cheese. He’s a real paragon of virture, right. ‘Right’.

  16. Yo Robert. If he’s so great, why is it I, like many others I know, have no desire to attend games anymore? He’s made the league a joke. As stated above, the worst commish in NFL history.

  17. I am 50/50 on him. He has done some good things and some things I think need improvement but one thing you guys need to know is that Goodell is not the one to blame for the rules he has changed.

    Goodell is responding to all of the lawsuits the NFL is getting and let’s be real, if the NFL loses money and is constantly sued the product will go away. The players who don’t save their money or who want to play wrecklessly and then sue the NFL for injuries later are to blame. Get mad at the former players jumping in on the lawsuits hoping for more money. Many of them think the NFL should take care of them their entire life because while in college they did not get a degree and if they can’t be on TV or coach they are worthless to society.

    We need to get these colleges graduating players and making them go to class, or kick them out of school, and help these players be safe so the long term damage is minimal and they can be useful members of society without football. The rule changes over safety are one issue you can’t blame him on, blame that on the players who keep the lawsuits going. When those stop and players accept that they know what they signed up for the rule changes may stop.

    There is not one single player who would not play knowing what they know now. There are still thousands who wish they could have played and probably 1500 or so who want a shot this year out of college who won’t even get it.

    Let’s do something about how colleges are treating these players in terms of not helping them get legit degrees so when their NFL careers are over they actually have something on paper that makes them worthy for more than a coaching or scouting job if they need it.

  18. Hey! We know you and your good ole boy buddy there screwed us the fans and treat your players like race horses but you don’t have to rub it in our faces publicly! AT LEAST ACT LIKE YOU’RE TRYING TO HIDE IT!

  19. Bob Kraft is a snake oil salesman supporting an even bigger snake oil salesman. This is no surprise as Goodell is in his back pocket

  20. Of course Kraft and the owners love Goodell, given Goodell is all for more revenue and less for player safety.

    When Goodell drops his advocacy for an 18 game schedule, then you’ll know he’s a good guy.

    Currently, he’s merely a puppeteer that is operated by the owners.

  21. Goodell is awful, but he is still fourth-worst commissioner in sports, ahead of Selig, Bettman, and David Stern, who is the biggest charlatan in US sports history.

  22. The patriots are lucky because they found the guy that would help cover up their cheating with the spy gate scandal. they found the one commissioner who would destroy the tapes before anybody else could see them

  23. anyone who thinks goodell is the worst commissioner in any sport, ever, is obviously not a hockey fan.

    gary bettman is the worst commissioner in the history of pro sports, hands down.

  24. With the one year “anniversary” of the Bountygate train wreck just a few days ago and the recent $30 mil in 2011 being leaked, obviously the Red Menace has been a hot topic of late.

    I’m honestly curious to any fans out there that actually do support this guy, what can you point to as something HE has done to place the league where it is currently??

    The NFL is at a point where it is essentially on auto pilot with the need for league info at an all time high. Additionally, a majority of his job is continuing to fill the pockets of the handful of owners that really run the show, which he seems to excell at.

    He has initiated the new “Player Conduct Policy,” which on the surface appears to be more of a power ploy for him to “protect the shield” as he sees fit. I’ll give him credit for moving the Draft to prime time, but honestly, other than that what can you point to?

    Spygate…2011 NFL Lockout and an all time low in Union/Player vs. league relations…Bountygate…2012 Referee Lockout…

  25. One thing I learned in life is that perception is different with everyone. I use to be a manager for a drug store. The 1st store I worked at sales was not so good even though we did everything in our power to improve them. But in our district manager’s eyes we could nothing right. I than transferred to another store that had an history of great numbers. Mind you that the store was a little neglected when I got there but sales were still high. At that store my DM thought we were gods. He had thought I had come a long way when in reality I did nothing different.

  26. For all of you that hate Goodell consider this- if he doesnt take steps to change the the way the game is played it wont be around in 15 years. Parents will no longer want their children playing the game so eventually there will be long term ramifications if something isnt done now. Roger loves the game and popularity isnt a concern of his. He has done an excellent job in his role as the NFL reaches new heights in viewership and overall visibility EVERY YEAR. I may be in the minority but I hope hes commish for a long time to come!

  27. Typical bosses / CEO’s.. As long as we keep getting $.. i dont care how the employee’s feel about management.. “what are they going to do? go get another job? ” yaaaa riiight! lol

  28. Yeah super lucky. Who would have thought someone like him would take such a tiny $30M salary to work for the NFL? Lucky you.

  29. The players dont like to be punished by the man, boo-hoo. Goodell is pure class. He’s above all the pettiness the players and NFLPA stoop to. He isn’t arrogant like David Stern but you don’t hear NBA players complaining that Stern wields too much power. Dee Smith and James Harrison have created this anti-commissioner sentiment among players. Goodell has too much class to sink to their level.

  30. Besides holding firm against violators, negotiating tough during contract talks, helping to adopt rules aimed at protecting players, while trying to address law suits filed against the NFL for not protecting past players, What make him a bad Commissioner? Not sure he has much choice in most of his decisions.

    I think he is doing great.

  31. Ratings are up, income is up, and you panty-boy whiners watch every game in your new official jerseys.

  32. No, you lucked out in the players being dumb enough to elect DeMaurice Smith.

    Thanks to their worthless NCAA educations they made the smart move by hiring a guy that made you more powerful!

  33. Lol at everyone making the negative comments about Kraft and Mara.

    Do you really think if he hadn’t made all 32 owners happy that he would have gotten a massive raise for the coming season ? Do you really think the billionaire owners of NFL teams care the slightest what the peons in the stands think ?

    At most the owners of the Saints, Cowboys and Redskins are unhappy, and even then when they look at their massively increased profits they’ll stop being unhappy.

    The commissioner works for the owners. They and the commissioner don’t give a damn what the fans think as long as the profits keep going up, which they have while Goodell has been commish.

    Nothing else matters to these guys. Nothing.

    If you guys really want Goodell gone there’s a solution. Stop going to games and watching them on TV. Because until a substantial number of fans in the many millions does so, you’re dreaming if you think Goodell is going anywhere but the job he has now.

  34. Reasons Bob loves Goodell:

    1. Burned SpyGate tapes
    2. Refused to answer Senator Specter’s questions about SpyGate
    3. Got rid of the Federal SpyGate lawsuit
    4. No suspension for Belichick, minimal sanctions
    5. McDaniels allowed to return to Pats as OC after getting caught using Belichick’s video guy (Steve Scarnecchia) to tape 49ers’ walkthrough practice

    Compare this lack of punishment to what the Saints just went through, where the entire organization was shredded for a similar “institutional control” violation.

    Yeah, Bob – Goodell’s got your back. Oh, and you get to keep your 3 tainted trophies. If only there was a way Goodell could get Coughlin to stop beating Belichick like a red-headed stepchild…

  35. Bob on Rog’s cob. Since the commissioner works for the owners, it’s no surprise they think he’s doing a bang-up job. If they thought he wasn’t, they would fire him.

  36. Yea, the Patriots DID luck out with Godell. They got away with cheating with just a loss of a forst round pick when they already had two and a fine to Bellicek wich Kraft nullified with a raise. Compare that with what the Saints got whacked with and yea, Kraft’s got a good buddy in Goodell.

  37. Obviously “we” is not inclusive on the average nfl fan.

    I also think Kraft has an angle on this comment. He does not hand out comments with no expectation of a return. Typical 1 %ers.

  38. Goodell has done things I agree with and things I don’t agree with. But the reason I don’t like him is nothing to do with him just looking after the owners bottom line. I am more than happy if NFL teams make more money. I think the biggest stains on Goodell’s tenure has been the way he has handled extra-ordinary events such as the bountygate, the random scatter-gun approach to player discipline and the relentless tinkering with the rules of the game in the name of ‘player safety’.

  39. No suspensions on Spygate, tons of suspensions and appeal distractions on Bountygate. Yes, the Patriots did get lucky to have Goodell, a commish who realizes the scapegoats have to come from small markets no matter the facts.

  40. There is no way the NFL commissioner is going to be popular with fans and players at a time when rule changes must be made (on the fly) in the name of player safety. Defensive players learn to use their helmet as a weapon from the time they are kids. The NFL now expects those players to unlearn what has been ingrained and tackle in a manner that is closer to rugby than football. Players are not happy and some fans think the game is becoming soft. In the meantime there are lawsuits from former players that are headed to court.

    I think the only major error in judgment shown by Goodell was the manner in which he handled the bounty-gate situation. His penalties to the players were way out of proportion to the unsubstantiated charges.

  41. People need to realize (and accept that they can’t change) that Goodell is employed BY THE OWNERS (you know, the same people who charge $50+/game for parking, $9 for a beer, etc.). I was more surprised by the fact that only 61% of the players disapprove of him- which means that, on average, there are 20-21 guys in every locker room that actually approve of him.

    Spygate- People complain because he wasn’t HARD ENOUGH on the Pats

    Bountygate- People complain because he was TOO HARD on the Saints (even though what was alleged was worse than Spygate- OMG, the Pats were secretly recording walkthroughs and hand signals, but the Saints were only trying to hurt people for money)

    Personal Conduct Policy- I’m sorry but some of us (like me) don’t look forward as much to making fun of dumb jocks breaking the law than others. You say this is Goodell over-stepping his boundaries? Well, players are still breaking the law throughout the league, so maybe the PCP isn’t enough- and you still can make fun of those players as well.

    The Player Lockout- People who actually know what they’re talking about know that De Smith sold the players on the pot o’gold that was waiting on the other side if they just held firm and dissolved the union, so they could try to fleece the league. Guess what? It didn’t happen. So now, the union is stuck with a dimwit for a leader who is afraid of doing anything without holding out for some sort of concession from the league at every turn (even if it means admitting that they missed an obvious collusion claim, just so they could raise the salary cap a little to keep De Smith from being ousted).

    The Referee Lockout- How dare the NFL- the most popular pro sport league in the country- ask the refs to field a full-time crew?!?!?!?!?! And also staff an alternate crew, in case one of the regular crews was underperforming!?!?!?!?! Why didn’t they just pay the same refs more money, just because the refs were asking for it?!?!?!?!?!—–> Honestly, if you had a problem with this, outside of having substandard refs for a few weeks, you’re just looking for something to complain about.

  42. There are things I don’t like about Goodell (European team desire, advocating for ridiculous rules changes, handicapping defensive football, coddling inept officials and the bizarre inconsistencies in discipline) but overall he is effective at what he is charged with doing. The discipline program and holding players accountable is heading in the right direction but it needs to be more consistent.

  43. He’s doing great, I love what’ s he’s done for the league.

    As a fan, I might disagree from time to time, but that can be said about any commissioner.

    I hope he’s around for a long time.

  44. Goodell is a joke, but as long as he’s making money for the owners they are going to keep him right where he is. As a previous poster stated, the only way he’ll be ousted is we all stop going to games watching on tv and buying merchandise. Since that’s not going to happen, we’re stuck with this fool for the foreseeable future.

  45. I think in the future i would lile to see a man of color,former player, and former head coach like Marvin Lewis or Tony Dungy. Majority of the players in the Nfl will be able to relate well to men like them

  46. nothing says “Lucked Out” like getting the commissioner to destroy evidence and assist in covering up a cheating scandal

  47. I’d be happy with him if he could make Steven Ross sell the Dolphins to a sensible owner.

  48. In other news Kraft has announced he and Roger are dating since the death of his wife.

  49. If the NFL were a publicly traded company like GE or Apple, it would have to list in its 10k its labor relations situation. That would be entertaining as hell to read them own up (they have to tell the truth in this or break the law) to being despised by the players, from whom he took money via the labor negotiations, are funding his huge bonus and treats like children in need of a babysitter.

  50. The commissioner is a puppet for the owners. He is up to the task.
    But somebody had better question whether rising ticket prices along with higher parking and beer costs along with poor visibility from half of the seats in most stadiums, adds to fans enjoyment of the game.
    Add the rule changes to remove violence from the game leads many to wonder, why watch?

  51. Yeah Kraft lucked out because Goodell covered his ass during the Spygate shenanigan. Any other commissioner might have dropped the big boom that they hit Sean Payton with last year.

  52. I tried tellin all the saints* fans the same thing when they were all clamoring that after bountygate that Goodell would be fired. Goodell does what the owners want him to do and that’s why you didn’t hear a squeak out of Tom Benson throughout the entire bountygate scandal. And the reason Benson didn’t say anything…..becuz he kept quiet in return for a promise from the other owners that when the time comes….and it will come…..that they don’t stop him from moving the saints* to either texas or L.A.

  53. You guys never let me down with your tired and woefully/willfully inaccurate rants about the “lightness” of the cameragate penalties. It’s amusing. 🙂

  54. Goodell isn’t really in a position to make everyone happy all the time. The fact is, he has had to make decisions to protect the business that current players don’t like, because former players, are coming after the league. I’m sure plenty of those former players are legitimate, but plenty more are just looking for a check.
    It’s not a great situation. Either the league needs to be protected from players who don’t care if they destroy the league, or the league needs to protect players because its really that dangerous. What is he supposed to do other than what he has? Given the circumstances, he’s done an admirable job.

  55. Lol at the comments about destroying tapes. Also I agree w. person who confirmed his agenda is that of an owner aka greedy doesn’t care about game.. Until 3 years ago I went to one game a year now I refuse to go bec I can go to arena football for waaaay cheaper if I want to see tacky football in person. Until rules change back to game I love I’ll never go to another game again.. Ditto goes for my friends and family who also havnt been in years!

  56. Go to arena football, its a joke too!! Kudos to Commissioner Goodell, I like what he has done. Anybody against him probably likes turf and soccer.

  57. The stadiums are packed and the teams are making more money than ever before. Sounds like he is doing his job. He doesn’t work for the players. The players get paid to play football. They should just shut up and do their jobs.

  58. I understand. Like he said, at the end of the day, Goodell is paid for by the owners to rake in the dough, and he’s got them rolling around in gold-plated footballs, soon to be solid gold when the new tv deals kick in. And I definitely still find it fun enough to watch every weekend on tv, so it’s not going to end anytime soon.

    Doesn’t mean I like a lot of his decisions, though. He’s just doing what he sees best from the owner’s point of view.

  59. I can’t believe all of you clown Jets fans are still obsessing about Bill Belichick when you have that oaf Rex Ryan as your coach. You are the laughing stock of the league, but you still keep talking and making it worse.

  60. Why wouldn’t Kraft love a commissioner who unilaterally destroys the Spygate evidence despite demands from US senators to examine said evidence?

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