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Volume 24 No. 116
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Sources: Jerry Jones Not Part Of Process In Goodell's New Deal As NFL Finalizes Extension

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's new deal, which was "agreed to Wednesday after a meeting with the NFL's Compensation Committee," will run to '24 but, given the "complexity of the contract and the amount of money at stake, both his representatives and the league are taking their time drawing up the documents," according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSPORTS.com. Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones was "not a factor in the process -- for better or worse -- and he was never on this committee or authorized to speak for other owners, who voted resoundingly back in the spring to empower the Competition Committee to finalize a deal with the commissioner without having to turn the matter back over to the full membership." Sources said that Jones was "never a formal or informal part of this process and was never working on behalf of any silent faction of owners." La Canfora noted the only issues of contention regarded the matter of what some owners "believe to be a bloated and overpriced league office on Park Avenue, with the number of individuals earning $500,000 or more a concern for many owners." Sources said that ultimately, there were "not new provisions put in place to limit salary or headcount," and as a practical matter Goodell's extension was "essentially in place weeks ago." Sources said that Wednesday's meeting "cemented some lingering tax and pension issues regarding the commissioner's pay package," and also "dealt with matters about future compensation should he leave the NFL before this contract expires" (CBSSPORTS.com, 9/24).

POTENTIAL CONTROVERSY? NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith last week was selected unanimously by a 14-player committee to lead the organization for at least the next three years, but in Boston, Ben Volin noted the way in which the NFLPA reappointed Smith has "raised a few eyebrows." NFLPA leadership "quietly voted to change its constitution this spring to alter its selection process, allowing a small group of NFLPA representatives to renew Smith's contract unopposed." DC-based attorney Cyrus Mehri, who was actively campaigning for Smith's position, said that he was "barred from speaking to any of the 14 voters about his ideas or the new selection process." And he "claims that when he spoke to the player reps -- most of whom were not part of last week's vote -- none of them even knew the constitution had been changed this spring." Mehri said that the NFLPA "didn't post its constitution on its website until August." Mehri said, "I started talking to player reps, and a couple of things happened -- they uniformly are in favor of competition, uniformly they feel I'm a legitimate candidate, and uniformly none of them remember signing off on changing the constitution. Which they must have done, but must have done in such a trickery way that they didn't know what they were signing on to. So I think there's a scandal buried in this thing, because normally a constitutional change would be in neon lights, very vivid and open" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/24).