NFL commissioner Roger Goodell might be on thin ice.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported Sunday that 17 NFL owners participated in a conference call last Thursday in which they discussed possibly halting Goodell’s pending contract extension. Sources told Schefter and Mortensen that the owners on the call are generally unhappy with Goodell and the NFL’s front office for various reasons.
It might be difficult to fire Goodell, as the NFL would need 24 owners to approve the decision. Perhaps the outside pressure will become too much, though. Stephen A. Smith even suggested Monday on ESPN’s “First Take” that Goodell should consider stepping down from the position he’s held since 2006.
“We have to take into consideration what has been transpiring before our very eyes and take into account the fact that what comes with your job description,” Smith said. “You’re making $14 billion annually. You projected to make $18 billion annually. You publicly projected that by the year 2027, you anticipate making $25 billion annually. But the numbers are going to come out — the World Series (Sunday night) beat ‘Sunday Night Football’ in the ratings for the second consecutive year. You’ve got protests going on. You’ve got revenue and ratings that have dissipated. You’ve got businesses that are reluctant to be associated with you. And even though that may be the owners’ fault, they appear to be looking for a fall guy and they have targeted Roger Goodell.
“So as a result of that, now you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Do I want to be caught in the eye of this storm?’ Because he’s got enough money. I mean, you made $44 million in one year. You made $35 million in another year. It’s safe to say Roger Goodell ain’t gonna be broke. It’s safe to say.”
Sure, Goodell has made plenty of money in his tenure as the commish. But would he seriously walk away from such a huge salary if he’s not forced out? Perhaps that’s the biggest question.
“I understand that (it’s hard to give up those paychecks), but the point is you also have a coalition of owners who want to compromise that check that you’re receiving,” Smith said. “And so as a result of that reality, we now must ask ourselves, if you’re Roger Goodell, is it really, really worth it?
“Listen, he could have been better on domestic violence. But who’s the real culprits with domestic violence? Those who committed domestic violence. The criminal element — who’s the real culprit? It would happen to be the criminals. It isn’t like it’s the commissioner’s fault that those guys are doing what they’re doing. But the owners are looking at him and they’re saying, now you got (Dallas Cowboys owner) Jerry Jones along with a small coalition of owners who appear to be doing everything they can to get him up out of there. And it might be just because they don’t want to pay him as much as they’ve been paying him. It might be something else.”
In any event, there’s some uncertainty surrounding Goodell’s future. That’s for sure.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images