Pete Rozelle left at age 63. Paul Tagliabue was 65 when he stepped down. The current Commissioner will soon be on track to last until age 68, or longer.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that the new deal for Roger Goodell, who turned 64 last month, will last until spring 2027.
It remains unknown whether the new deal will be Goodell’s last one, or whether the latest arrangement requires affirmative succession planning. Currently, there’s no one who is being prepared to take over for Goodell.
The owners, most of whom are significantly older than Goodell, presumably would prefer that he remain in the job indefinitely. They still would be wise to have a clear plan in place for the future. Even a ship cruising clear, open waters needs a captain who will avoid finding an iceberg into which it will be steered.
The new deal will be final if at least 24 of the owners approve it. There’s currently no reason to believe the proposed contract will be rejected.