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Volume 24 No. 217
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Sources: Issues With Roger Goodell's Contract Extension Resolved; Deal Is Getting Done

The issues NFL owners had with Commissioner Roger Goodell's contact extension have been "resolved and the deal is 'getting papered right now,'" according to a source cited by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. The source said that it could take "days or maybe weeks to finalize, but the contract is 'getting done.'" A source confirmed Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones had "raised issues about the deal and wanted to open up the search during the process." Jones reportedly demanded a pay-cut and a "radical change in the formula that compensates the commissioner, as well as other employees of the league office." A source said, "That's what he tried to do, but he got shot down." A conference call yesterday of the compensation committee "helped seal the deal" (ESPN.com, 9/20). In DC, Mark Maske notes Goodell's extension is "believed to be for five years and will keep Goodell under contract" through '24. The current CBA runs through '20 and the extension, if completed, would "ensure that Goodell would lead the owners" through the next set of labor negotiations with the NFLPA (WASHINGTON POST, 9/21). ESPN's Michael Smith said, “It’s not like there’s a viable candidate we’re aware of right now. His contract wasn’t due to be up until 2019, so it sounds like it was just a matter of Jerry Jones trying to tighten the purse strings in a lot of areas." ESPN's Jemele Hill said Goodell is "perfect person" for team owners to have working for them. Hill: "He's okay with being a villain. As long as he’s there, that shields the owners from a lot of criticism. ... When there’s a bad investigation, when there’s criticism of the product, he stands in and takes the hit” ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/20).

STAGE IS SET: USA TODAY's Jarrett Bell notes NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith’s re-election "probably ensures that the same chief figureheads will still be at the head of the negotiating table for their respective entities" when the next CBA is negotiated. Goodell's likely extension would run through '24 and now Smith has "at least three more years," beginning in '18. NFLPA President Eric Winston indicated that the union "could offer a lengthier pact that would extend into the next labor deal." He said Smith's extension "wasn't a quick decision." Winston: "This is the result of a process that extended over a period of time. Am I surprised? No. But it’s hard to get a unanimous vote. ... This speaks to the vision of what we see going forward." Meanwhile, Bell notes DC-based attorney Cyrus Mehri, who wanted to challenge Smith in this election cycle, "won’t concede that his campaign is over." Mehri "aims to get the NFLPA’s constitution amended again to revamp the election process." Winston defended the recent NFLPA constitutional change as a "desire of player leadership for a more efficient election process." Winston also "maintains that the NFLPA drew from methods" applied by the NBPA and MLBPA (USA TODAY, 9/21). Meanwhile, CBS Sports Network's Adam Schein said, "If you heard the collective laughter late (Tuesday), that was all 32 NFL owners and Roger Goodell laughing. De Smith's negotiating will go down in history as the worst and most lopsided CBA ever." Schein: "De Smith is not very good at his job, and whether or not you know it, it impacts us as fans” (“Time to Schein,” CBSSN, 9/20).