Many NFL owners will be in New York this week for committee meetings ahead of the full ownership meeting in Texas in December, with league sources indicating a new contract for Roger Goodell could be finalized by midweek. There is a strong sentiment among many owners, including some on the Compensation Committee that has negotiated the deal, to get the matter fully resolved ahead of the Dec. 13 meeting.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has led the charge among a very small group of owners trying to derail the contract extension process, told reporters after his team's loss on Thanksgiving that he expects the full ownership group to discuss the matter at the December meeting. But Jones is not in a position to dictate the protocol at this point, and, with the full ownership already authorizing the Compensation Committee to complete a deal back in the spring, several other powerful owners believe the matter can be resolved among those in New York for committee meetings this week.
Those meetings will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, and league sources said Falcons owner Arthur Blank, the chair of the Compensation Committee who was livid over Jones' recent antics and his since-rescinded threat to sue owners and the league over the contract extension, is expected to discuss the contract with members of his committee as well as with those outside this particular committee.
"It could happen really fast after the committee meetings," said one ownership source, who anticipates Blank will use these meetings to "flush out any concerns face-to-face" and "allow for more dialogue with any owners – beyond Jerry and (Redskins owner) Dan (Snyder) – who may have substantive issues."
According to numerous league sources, Jones' powerbase is quite limited on this issue. Besides Snyder, Colts owner Jim Irsay has indicated he is supportive of at least of Jones' platform, sources said, while the Ravens are also sympathetic to some of what Jones has expressed regarding the commissioner's compensation and this process. Jones has tried to recruit other owners, like the Bensons with the Saints, but it is unclear if any other ownership groups would back him enough to actually vote against moving forward with an extension.
Regardless, a majority of owners are in favor of wrapping this up as soon as possible and moving forward with Goodell as their face as they head into vital contract negotiations with the NFLPA and their broadcast partners early next decade. Goodell's new contract would run through 2024. As we have reported throughout the season, formally completion of this contract was always inevitable, with the major tenants of the deal in place weeks ago, and Jones has always lacked the wherewithal and support to upend it, through legal channels or otherwise.
Goodell's deal, as we first reported last week, would reach $200M over five years if he attains all incentives, with a base package in the range of $20M a season.