Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones "called an ESPN report that he was holding up a five-year extension" for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell an "'exaggeration' and less than substantive," according to Clarence Hill Jr. of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. Jones said, "All of that is without any substance at all. ... There are certainly exaggerations there. That’s not the way that works. I’ve always supported Roger and let’s just leave it at that." Hill notes Goodell was "reportedly close to an agreement on a five-year extension last month." But that was "before an angry Jones, an unofficial seventh member of the NFL’s six-man compensation committee, interjected himself." Jones "referred to himself as an 'ombudsman' to the group." Jones is "not happy about the NFL’s handling of 13-month investigation" of Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott for allegedly committing domestic violence. A source said that Jones was originally told there "would be no suspension." Jones said that he has always been "one of his biggest supporters" of Goodell. He also said that the Elliott situation is "separate from the contract negotiations with Goodell" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/18). Falcons Owner and Compensation Committee Chair Arthur Blank said of Jones' impact on Goodell's extension, "The speculation is incorrect. He is not impeding it. I got a note from him the other day. He’s comfortable with where we are." THE MMQB's Peter King: "Let’s see if some owners leak out who opposes a rich extension. My gut feeling: the Goodell extension gets done by the end of the year" (MMQB.SI.com, 9/18).
INITIAL REPORT: ESPN's Chris Mortensen in the original report cited a source as saying that Jones "believes he’s representing the other owners and he believes this thing needs a lot of discussion before they just give him a contract." He feels the financial aspect of the deal needs a "big reduction." Goodell has made almost $200M as commissioner since '06 and Jones "wants something cut." Mortensen: "He thinks other owners are on board with him." ESPN's Adam Schefter noted Goodell's extension was first reported by SportsBusiness Journal last month and said, "Now we're a month later and as one person said, and I quote, 'If not for Jerry, this deal would be done.'" ESPN's Louis Riddick: "This is a good discussion to have. $200 million. That's a lot of money for the performance that we all know has been actually put forth so far" (“Sunday NFL Countdown,” ESPN, 9/17). A source said that Jones is joined by Texans Owner and Compensation Committee member Bob McNair in "calling for a dramatic restructuring of Goodell's contract." But another source said, "Jerry's not saying, 'Don't hire Roger.' He's saying, 'I hate this [proposed] deal; redo it.'" In addition to Blank and McNair, the Compensation Committee includes Chiefs Chair & CEO Clark Hunt, Patriots Owner Robert Kraft, Giants President & CEO John Mara and Steelers President Art Rooney II (ESPN.com, 9/17).
DOLLARS & SENSE: ESPN's Mike Golic said he did not "put a lot in" the speculation that Goodell will not sign a new deal. He said, "You mean Roger Goodell is not going to sign his extension to be the commissioner? I don't think there is any shot of that. ... This is basically going to be, he’s going to make less. He can have incentives to make more, but he’s probably not going to make $44 million" ("Mike & Mike, ESPN Radio, 9/18). NBC's Mike Florio: "ESPN grossly overstated the extent that Jerry Jones is representing the interest of other owners. I think it’s Jerry on his own, and the rest of the owners want to get this done. Whether this was a leverage play by Jerry Jones while the Ezekiel Elliott case was pending, whatever the case may be, it hasn’t worked, and I think Jones is ready to cry uncle and go along" ("PFT," NBCSN, 9/18).
TWITTER REAX: The Ringer's Bill Simmons tweeted: "I've never loved Jerry Jones more." ESPN's Michelle Beadle: "I'm not prepared for a world in which Jerry Jones and I agree on something. This calls for a nap." Barstool Sports' Dave Portnoy: "I'm so conflicted on Jerry Jones supposedly trying to take down @nflcommish Same dude who led the Brady mob." Yahoo Sports' Ben Rohrbach: "So, Jerry Jones was OK with Goodell suspending someone over PSI, but not cool with him suspending over alleged domestic violence? Good stuff."