Goodell’s extension raises more questions

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SportsBusiness Journal is reporting today that the NFL has extended commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract for an additional three-and-a-half years, meaning it now runs through March 1, 2015.

This is another sign of the league strengthening its front as labor uncertainty looms.

One aspect of Goodell’s new deal that SBJ detailed is that how the commish will not be getting a raise, a signal that the league recognizes the economic climate it is operating in. But the story also pointed out that league, according to tax returns, spent $71.8 million on “salaries, other compensation and employee benefits”, up $25 million from last year. The league countered that the pay of 120 officials was included for the first time.

And Patriots owner Robert Kraft, speaking to SBJ, defended the league’s practices here.

“Our team managers are modestly paid” when compared with executives at
other entertainment companies, Kraft told SBJ. “I am very comfortable, with my
knowledge of a lot of different situations, that this is very fair
compensation.”

It was then raised to Kraft that salaries could be a way for the NFLPA to call the owners on just how much they’re struggling during these tough economic times. Kraft responded, “If I were running the union today I would
try to do everything to work in the spirit of cooperation and
partnership.”

Remember, Kraft will be a key figure in the labor talks over the next year, and his tone of “cooperation and partnership” echoes what Roger Goodell said last week in Fort Lauderdale.

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