LOS ANGELES (AFP) – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who inked a five-year contract extension last week, intends to retire when his new deal expires in 2024, a league spokesman said on Wednesday.
“The commissioner has been clear he views this as his final contract,” Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications and public affairs, said at the league’s winter meeting in Irving, Texas.
Goodell, 58, plans to work with NFL owners to identify and put in place his successor by the time he steps away in seven years, Lockhart said.
Goodell signed the extension, which runs through March 2024, last Wednesday. His annual base compensation will be less than $10 million, but the yearly pay could hit $40 million if he reaches incentives, most of which are tied to the league’s overall revenue, according to a report by ESPN.
Goodell has earned more than $200 million since he was elected NFL commissioner in 2006, succeeding Paul Tagliabue. Goodell first joined the league as an intern back in 1982.
Goodell’s contract had become a contentious issue this season, with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones threatening to sue the league and some fellow owners if an extension was approved.
Jones was angered by the six-game ban handed out to Cowboys rusher Ezekiel Elliott over domestic violence accusations that never resulted in criminal charges.
Goodell has come in for harsh criticism for his handling of several issues – including the domestic violence case involving ex-NFL rusher Ray Rice and the “Deflate-gate” scandal involving the New England Patriots and their superstar quarterback Tom Brady.
But the league remains a financial powerhouse with a projected $14 billion in revenue this year. That’s a $6 billion increase from 2010, when Goodell said he wanted the league to reach $25 billion in revenue by 2027.
Goodell’s extension keeps him in place through the league’s negotiations for its next collective bargaining agreement with the players’ union as well as its next television contract negotiations.