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Volume 26 No. 206
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's Future Past '24 Remains A Mystery

Goodell, who turns 61 in February, has never said he intends to retire after his current contract
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Goodell, who turns 61 in February, has never said he intends to retire after his current contract
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Goodell, who turns 61 in February, has never said he intends to retire after his current contract
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in '17 signed a five-year contract extension that runs through '24, at which point former NFL Exec VP/Communications Joe Lockhart indicated that Goodell "intended to retire as commissioner," but some associates close to him "aren't certain he will leave so soon," according to Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. However, some league owners "believe Goodell, who turns 61 in February, will stick" to that '24 deadline. Owners have "contemplated a commissioner search" in which NFL Chief Media & Business Officer Brian Rolapp would "be the early favorite." Rolapp taking over could "make for a seamless transition similar" to when former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "handed off to Goodell" in '06. A source said that Goodell "remains as engaged and energetic as ever in his hands-on involvement with league operations." Goodell "never has said publicly that he intends to retire" at the end of his current contract, and he "quickly distanced himself from Lockhart's public comments" on the matter in '17. At the owners' meetings in October, one owner said, "We have to be prepared. He's certainly welcome to continue on. That's up to him. But we can't be caught unprepared if he decides to go." Maske writes if Goodell "secures labor peace and guarantees ongoing wealth from broadcasting deals, he will have done his job well in the view of the owners," and what "happens after that is Goodell's call" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/5).

PUMPING THE BRAKES: NFLPA President Eric Winston, when asked about a story last month that the league and union had made progress on a new CBA, said that he "did not share that enthusiasm." Winston: "We have been talking for a long time. I still think at some point we're going to have to get over some of the big issues, and we're just not there yet" (THEATHLETIC.com, 12/5).