After making an average of about $10 million over the first five years as commissioner, Goodell saw it fit for a hefty increase in 2011, according to Sports Business Daily. Goodell tripled his salary in 2011, as he took home close to $30 million for the year.
Goodell’s salary was almost $10 million higher than any NFL player in 2011 and, as a matter of fact, higher than any single salary ever in the history of the league. What’s more, Goodell’s increase came after months of lobbying to lower player salaries in the most recent collective bargaining agreement.
It’s not crazy to think that Goodell deserves to be paid well, especially after locking down a new CBA with the Players Union, avoiding an extended lockout — into the season, that is — and securing some very lucrative new television contracts.
Goodell deserves to be paid well just like any other successful CEO, which is essentially his role within the NFL. But the sheer growth of his salary in such a small window of time is the real eyebrow raiser. Not to say that it’s right or wrong, just that it is conspicuous.