Could Kevin Warren be the NFL’s next Commissioner?

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Vikings COO Kevin Warren soon will become the Commissioner of the Big 10. In a profile of Warren, Daniel Kaplan of raises this question: Could Warren be the next Commissioner of the NFL?

Kaplan, citing unnamed sources with “close ties to the NFL,” writes that those persons view Warren as a “future Commisioner,” and that his upcoming Big 10 job will “be only a steppingstone, not a final stop.”

Consultant Marc Ganis, who has close ties to the NFL, tells Kaplan that Warren is “one of those handful of people that are in the NFL right now that could very well be considered as a future Commissioner.”

Warren’s name has indeed come up regarding the possibility of becoming the next Commissioner. Two other names that also have emerged on the grapevine include NFL Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy & Growth Officer Chris Halpin and, somewhat surprisingly, Hall of Fame defensive back Aeneas Williams.

Williams was spotted at the annual meetings in Arizona, and that’s where the chatter of Williams potentially succeeding Goodell first surfaced.

The NFL seems to be intent on naming a Commissioner with extensive football ties and history, in lieu of finding a professional CEO who may have no prior connection to the NFL. As the league grows, so does the importance of considering options beyond the shell of people with experience working for, in, or around the NFL and one or more of its teams. While it’s important to have people who know the business in key positions of leadership, the ultimate leader of the game need not be someone who has spent decades, years, months, or even weeks working in or playing football.

24 responses to “Could Kevin Warren be the NFL’s next Commissioner?

  1. That this is even a story is a warning shot to Roger Goodell, who objectively speaking has been a cancer on the league with ignorant personal spite driving virtually all his decisions and the competence of the league suffering despite record growth in quality and popularity. A commissioner who has actually lived the game and understood its inner workings would never have gone after a coach over a sideline videotaping memo that misquoted the rulebook; he’d have admitted the league made a mistake. Keep an eye on potential new Commissioner akevin Warren.

  2. Ahead Williams surprises me. A guy that can convince two multi-million dollar franchises to knowingly employ him at once doesn’t. And the NFL is not any typical business. Somebody who’s spent time with players and understands them is extremely valuable when they can understand the nuances of being a team executive while also having experience as the commissioner of a billion dollar league

  3. N.F.L. need’s a commish like Davey Stern to get thing’s straightened out, not some college guy.

  4. Why shouldn’t someone who’s familiar with football be making decisions about the entire sport as opposed to a random outsider who has no first hand knowledge of what it’s like to be in the league? They can pick a former player that is good at business, why does it need to be exclusive?

  5. Whatever the league sid to find Goodell my recommendation is to so the opposite like George Constanza did. Goodell is the worst commisioner… in history.

  6. “The NFL seems to be intent on naming a Commissioner with extensive football ties and history, in lieu of finding a professional CEO who may have no prior connection to the NFL.”

    And then they will pay that Commissioner far more money than the person would get paid by anyone else. Think about it, who else would pay Goodell even $2M a year? Kind of weird how these supposedly great businessmen are so willing to overpay someone, especially when there’s no real competition for the services, huh?

  7. Why is there even a need for a single “Commissioner”?

    Once the league’s discipline policy is ironed out.. the league really only needs a “Commission” .. a group of 5 or so owners who vote on any given issue. The active 5 man commission could rotate amongst all owners.

  8. I keep seeing all this “can’t get any worse” talk and all I can think is “remember when we said that about George W. Bush?” Don’t go making assumptions, the last two nut jobs have proven that no matter how bad it is, it can indeed get worse.

  9. Goodell has been very good for the owners and the business side, but from players and fans perspective, anyone would be an improvement.

  10. Warren was a very strong senior executive for the Vikes, a smart guy and a very good person. However, every time I heard the guy talk on local radio or TV he seemed to get emotional over something and start crying. Not that being a sensitive male of the 2010s is wrong or anything, but I’m not sure how well that will go over with the NFL populous.

  11. This is an impressive guy and I think he’ll be successful in whatever he does. He would make a great commissioner. I’ve heard him on the radio many times too, and he definitely did not cry every time.

  12. If you want a World Class commissioner, it makes sense to get one from a World Class team like the Vikings….

  13. Alan Light says:
    July 11, 2019 at 3:35 pm
    If you want a World Class commissioner, it makes sense to get one from a World Class team like the Vikings….


    You keep saying the Vikings are “world class.”

    Please explain.

    1. You deserve a chance to back up your claims with facts.
    2. I’m sure everyone here could use a laugh.

  14. The interview should go like this…”how do you feel about playing regular season games in London?”…..I hate it and would stop them yesterday….”you’re hired!”

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