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Inside Slant: NFL growth via Roger Goodell

2/14/2014

In an era of skyrocketing CEO compensation, many of us don't know what to make of the news that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell received $44 million in 2012 and a total of $73 million over the past two fiscal years. The numbers are beyond our reach and personal comprehension.

Here's one way to think of it: Goodell's two-year average of $36.5 million is more than triple the highest annual total he received in any year before the NFL's 2011 lockout and subsequent collective bargaining agreement (CBA). That should tell you how pleased team owners are, both with Goodell's performance, and by the new leverage he delivered them in the CBA.

As a result of that 10-year labor agreement, the NFL salary cap has remained largely flat for three years. Rookie contract scales are dramatically lower. The league's annual revenues have grown by about 11 percent to $10 billion. The NFL negotiated a financially favorable $765 million settlement to a massive class-action concussion lawsuit and, most recently, it farmed out part of its Thursday night television package for $275 million, according to the Sports Business Journal.

Goodell has set a goal to push annual revenues to $25 billion by 2027. If you hadn't noticed, the NFL has embarked on a path toward corporate monolith status over the past two years. Today's evidence: Executive compensation.