Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and a group of additional team owners want the commissioner of the National Football League (NFL), Roger Goodell, to earn his salary using performance-based metrics. The incentive plan would replace his current flat, guaranteed figure, ESPN reported.
According to the sports news agency, Goodell is “furious” over the suggestion. “He feels as if the owners have made a lot of money and he should be compensated accordingly,” a source reportedly said. “The incentives thing really angers him.”
Jones is reportedly very unhappy with Goodell, too, and has secured legal representation to help him oust the current commissioner.
According to the New York Post:
Jones…has been lobbying his fellow billionaires for months about Goodell’s upcoming contract — which, for months, has seemed an inevitability but is still not finalized. Jones is trying to move the other owners toward his side; Jones needs 24 owners to approve of Goodell’s firing.
Jones was a leading voice among 17 NFL owners on a conference call Thursday, wherein they discussed halting Goodell’s pending contract extension, sources told ESPN.
At issue are multiple grievances. For one, Jones thinks Goodell is overpaid, having made more than $200 million since he was elected commissioner in 2006. Jones described the arrangement as the “most one-sided deal ever.”
Jones also clashes with Goodell over how the commissioner has addressed players’ protests during pregame performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” While Goodell waffles about what to do, Jones believes the protests hurt the league. He told Cowboys players to stand for the anthem, or risk not playing.
Another factor that many believe to be the main point of contention for Jones is suspended Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott. Goodell has sidelined the running back for six games under the NFL’s conduct umbrella, after reports of domestic violence came to light. Charges were never pressed in the allegations against Elliott, who is in the midst of a legal dust-up against the NFL over the suspension.
ESPN is reporting that Jones has been exploring a lawsuit option if Goodell’s contract is extended after the 2018 season. The Post reported that Jones told six owners on the compensation committee that legal papers were drawn up and would be served Friday if the committee did not scrap its plans to extend Goodell’s contract.
Jones has reportedly hired David Boies, a well-known New York lawyer who led the NFL’s court case during a dispute over the 2011 collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Boies has also represented disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
A performance-based change to Goodell’s contract would mirror the types of deals owners have reached with players, whose contracts are not guaranteed.