Roger Goodell, no football expert, is not as entrenched in the sport as previously believed.
According to ESPN, Jones has thrust himself into the league’s compensation committee and is holding up talks with Goodell’s new deal. Goodell’s current contract is set to expire in 2019; his new one originally was going to make him the face of the NFL until at least 2024.
“If not for Jerry,” an ESPN source said this weekend, “this deal would be done.”
The report states that Goodell’s long-term future could be in jeopardy as he faces backlash from Jones — only his latest in-house combatant — following his four-game suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for violating the league’s domestic violence protocol. Jones has stated repeatedly that Elliott did nothing wrong, and the league and player are in a prolonged back-and-forth that likely won’t be settled this season.
If Goodell can try to suspend Elliott and cost him a few game checks, Jones can try to lower Goodell’s bloated salary. Jones has intruded on the six-man compensation committee — which is comprised of chairman Arthur Blank (Falcons), Clark Hunt (Chiefs), Goodell friend-turned-enemy Robert Kraft (Patriots), John Mara (Giants), Bob McNair (Texans) and Art Rooney II (Steelers) — and, if he wants Goodell back at all, he wants to see a few zeroes come off his paycheck.
“This is about money and a guy [Goodell] making way too much money on a grossly stupid contract for the job,” a source said.
Goodell has made more than $200 million since he became commissioner in 2006 and has overseen countless controversies since, ranging from Ray Rice’s infamous two-game ban to the Deflategate war to the concussion crisis.
“Jerry’s not saying, ‘Don’t hire Roger.’ He’s saying, ‘I hate this [proposed] deal; redo it,’” one source told ESPN.
The next step for Goodell’s contract talk comes Wednesday, when the committee has a conference call that’s intended to wrap up a specific term proposal for Goodell. Jones is expected to be part of the call.