Owners reportedly have a favorable view of Roger Goodell once again. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)
Towards the end of the interminable Deflategate saga, some NFL owners were reportedly souring on Roger Goodell. Several influential league executives, including Falcons owner Arthur Blank and 49ers CEO Jed York, even publicly expressed a desire to see the commissioner vacate his unilateral disciplinary power.
But now, following another year of monstrous profits, Goodell is reportedly back in the good graces of his billionaire overlords.
According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, Goodell’s standing among owners has increased recently. They respect the way he was able to navigate past the Ray Rice and Deflategate fiascos, while serving as a fall guy for the league. The owners are also reportedly thrilled with the way Goodell has handled the league’s concussion crisis. Last year, the Supreme Court left the NFL’s $1 billion settlement with thousands of ex-players who accused the league of masking the dangers of head trauma in place. It’s a favorable deal for the NFL, because it doesn’t cover CTE, which at this point can only be diagnosed posthumously.
With league revenue reaching $14 billion, the NFL seems poised to enter another period of prolonged financial growth. The league gained a whopping $1.65 billion in relocation fees from the Rams, Chargers and Raiders, which will be divided up among all 32 franchises. Every team will receive $53 million as a result of the moves, with none of the money going to the players.
That’s probably a reason why Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who continues to jab at Goodell for Deflategate, expressed support for the Raiders’ relocation at the league meetings this week.
“Now, they have an opportunity to be a very solid, vibrant team,” he said, via Patriots.com. “In the end, we’re in a competitive league, and you can’t compete at the highest level if you don’t have a first-rate stadium. I think that’s what this is really all about.”
As long as the money keeps pouring in, Goodell will likely remain popular among owners. He continues to deliver for them.