NFL should continue to disclose executive pay


The latest public report regarding NFL compensation will be the last one, unless the NFL decides to resume tax-exempt status for the league office. Moving forward, no one will know how much Commissioner Roger Goodell or other top executives earn, because the NFL no longer will have a duty to release the information about the money paid to Goodell or others.

The question continues to be whether the NFL should disclose that information voluntarily. Compensation regarding all players is, necessarily, public. Why shouldn’t the public know what the Commissioner, who ostensibly is the Commissioner for the entire sport, is being paid by the narrow constituency for which he works?

Absent transparency that no longer will be legally required (and thus won’t happen), it will become impossible to track the trends in Goodell’s pay, which has dropped from $44 million in fiscal year 2012 to $35 million in fiscal year 2013 to $34.1 million in fiscal year 2014.

The drop for the year that included the Ray Rice debacle wasn’t as steep as many expected. In October 2014, Falcons owner Arthur Blank suggested that Goodell’s compensation could decline due to the Ray Rice debacle. With Patriots owner Robert Kraft serving as a member of the Compensation Committee, that’s another factor that could have worked against Goodell.

For fiscal year 2015 and beyond, there will be no way to know what Goodell or his successor earns, simply because the enemies of the NFL persistently distorted the league office’s tax-exempt status into a vague (and untrue) suggestion that the league was avoiding its tax obligation. Instead, the money was passing through the league office to the teams, and the teams were paying the taxes.

Now, the NFL has sacrificed a tax structure that surely had benefits (otherwise the league wouldn’t have done it) in order to extinguish a lingering P.R. brushfire. The added plus for the league is that the new approach will make Goodell’s pay a secret from this point forward.

23 responses to “NFL should continue to disclose executive pay

  1. Poor Rodger…..He has had to suffer for the past two years with increasingly reduced pay. In fact, it appears that he lost 19 Million dollars in pay in just two years…..

  2. I agree with full disclosure on NFL executive’s income.
    And while we’re at it, how much do you make Mike? And how much do you pay each member of your staff?
    You know, what’s good for the goose…..

  3. If Goodell is paid $1 per year that is $1 too much. He is worthless. Doesn’t matter if they publish his compensation. Any amount is too much.

  4. magnumpimustache says:
    Feb 16, 2016 8:48 PM
    We know how much they make now, salaries are not going down so we don’t need to know their exact salaries in the future

    While I don’t really disagree with your sentiment, the article states that Goodell’s pay has gone down over the past few years. Might want to read the whole article.

  5. “Why shouldn’t the public know what the Commissioner, who ostensibly is the Commissioner for the entire sport, is being paid by the narrow constituency for which he works?”

    Um… Because they’re a privately held company, Mike?

    I don’t care for Goodell or how the NFL is run, but as a privately held company that will shortly no longer be tax-exempt, it’s none of the public’s business as to how people are compensated.

  6. Um… Because they’re a privately held company, Mike?


    They’re a private company that leverages billions in public dollars to fund their stadiums, not to mention millions more for the “privilege” of hosting Super Bowls.

  7. First, wasn’t this site one of those making the incorrect tax claim? Second, how about posting your salary. After all, don’t the readers deserve to know?

  8. There are laws that can be passed regarding speech that do not impose upon right to free speech.

    How about passing a law that before media makes a politically charged demand, they be required to participate in the demand themselves, first.

    Celebs don’t want guns, get rid of your armed bodyguards first, them make demands.

    You want higher taxes, you first donate your own money “that won’t be missed”, then demand.

    You demand people must disclose their income, you do it first.

    Sound fair?

  9. Its nobody elses business. I wish they would keep the executives AND players salary under wraps. Only thing we need to know is who is under contract and for how long. Any negotions or complaints about contracts need to happen behind closed door.

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