Roger Goodell may have signed a new five-year contract extension to remain NFL commissioner last week, but his new nemesis, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, was still trying to delay the finalizing of the pact.
In a story posted Monday morning, Wickersham writes that on Dec. 1, Jones submitted a resolution to have contract talks with Goodell tabled for six months. The proposal was for this week’s league meeting in Irving, Texas.
In Proposed Resolution 2017 G-7, Jones was requesting a “moratorium on any and all actions taken pursuant” to Goodell’s new deal, “specifically, that the Commissioner’s extension is not finalized during such moratorium.”
Taking things one step further, Jones requested that the resolution be voted on by secret ballot, which is usually used only for truly critical league matters.
But before Jones’ proposal could be brought to the table, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, chairman of the compensation committee, which decides Goodell’s salary, and Goodell finalized his deal. The pact has a maximum value of $200 million if Goodell reaches all incentives.
Owners overwhelmingly approved the deal last Wednesday; it cannot be undone at this point.
In May, all owners – including Jones – voted to begin contract talks on Goodell’s extension, which wasn’t set to expire until 2019. But after Goodell decided in August to suspend the Cowboys’ star running back, Ezekiel Elliott, for six games after he was accused of domestic violence, Jones told the commissioner, “I’m going to come at you with everything I have.” Jones also does not like the way Goodell has handled player protests during the national anthem.
Sources told ESPN’s Wickersham that Blank had told other owners that Jones assured him earlier that if he didn’t have the votes to delay the Goodell contract that he would back down.
But Jones didn’t do that, with his failure to withdraw his moratorium resolution as proof that he didn’t keep his word.
In the end, however, Jones did delay the contract, though not as long as he apparently would have liked. After the vote to proceed with Goodell’s extension in May, it was expected that it would have been completed not long afterward. Instead, it took six months.
Wickersham also wrote that with Goodell’s deal done, ownership and league sources suspect that Jones and other owners will now turn their attention to the league offices, looking for significant staffing changes as well as revisions to how the commissioner handles player discipline.
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