Roger Goodell’s contract extension has yet to be finalized, but a new deal isn’t imminent if Jerry Jones has anything to do with it.
According to multiple sources, Jones has been actively trying to thwart the NFL commissioner’s impending contract extension. The Dallas Cowboys owner reportedly has hired high-profile attorney David Boies and vows to sue the league if Goodell’s deal is confirmed. According to Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King, Jones currently wants the compensation committee — which is made up of six owners — to send the terms of the contract back to the entire membership committee for review.
The move would give all 32 team owners a chance to approve or deny the deal. On a conference call with Jones, however, Patriots owner Robert Kraft voiced concerns in response to his purported plans. Per King:
Still, in that fateful conference call Nov. 2, after Jones’ threat, the source with knowledge of the call said Patriots owner and committee member Robert Kraft told Jones words to this effect: Jerry, my franchise got killed for a BS incident with so-called deflated footballs. We lost our quarterback for 25% of the season. We got fined a million bucks. We lost first- and fourth-round picks. For hogwash! But I took it. My fans killed me for it, but I try to be a good partner.
Many assume that Jones’ passionate objection to extending Goodell’s tenure is a result of the league’s six-game suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. He clarified that that’s not the case on his radio show.
“I really fervently disagree that we shouldn’t have him on the playing field,” Jones said. “But a lot of people are trying to tie it in frankly with the issue regarding my stance as to the chairman and renewing the commissioner. That’s really not right.”
Kraft can certainly empathize with Jones, having experienced the fallout of the Deflategate controversy that resulted in a four-game suspension for quarterback Tom Brady. During the aftermath of the punishment, Kraft had said he didn’t know if his relationship with Goodell would “ever be the same.” But Goodell later said that his relationship with Kraft was “never strained.”