NFL commissioner Roger Goodell nearly tripled his compensation in 2011, earning just under $30 million during that calendar year, according to a report from Daniel Kaplan in the SportsBusiness Daily.
Goodell earned $11.6 million in overall compensation during 2010, according to Kaplan. In 2011, Goodell's compensation increased to $29.49 million, including $22.3 million in the form of a bonus tied to his performance. A performance-based compensation structure will be followed moving forward in Goodell's five-year contract extension, which was signed in January of 2012 and calls for Goodell to earn around $20 million per season.
In 2011, a critical season for NFL business, Goodell negotiatied a 10-year collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association and lucrative new television contracts. While some argue that Goodell doesn't warrant such a large salary, it is important to remember that he oversees the most popular sports league in the world that has generates over $9 billion in annual revenue.
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who chairs the league's compensation committee, defended Goodell's compensation.
"The NFL is the most successful and best-managed sports league in the world," Blank said in a prepared statement published by the SportsBusiness Daily. “This is in no small part due to Roger’s leadership and the value he brings to the table in every facet of the sport and business of the league. His compensation reflects that."
The second highest paid NFL executive on the list was Jeff Pash, the league's general counsel who was a key figure in labor negotiations in 2011. Pash earned $8.8 million, mostly in the form of a bonus ($5.9 million). NFL Network president and CEO Steve Bornstein was third on the list with a 2011 compensation of $5.7 million, including a $2.6 million bonus.
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