Being the commissioner of a major sports league is a fairly thankless job, as anyone who signs up for that particular role knows they’re going to be subjected to an endless amount of scrutiny while receiving a minuscule amount of praise for performing their duties.
After all, we’re talking about a position where “Being booed whenever you appear in public” is basically part of the job description—although it’s a bit easier to deal with that particular downside when you consider the amount of money a commissioner typically makes.
The estimated $63.9 million Goodell earned in 2021 dwarfs the compensation handed out to the other men who serve at the helm of America’s “Big Four” (Rob Manfred is the runner-up with a comparatively paltry $17.5 million).
Goodell’s current contract is set to expire in 2024, but he’ll likely be sticking around for a while as the league’s owners gear up to approve a new deal expected to stretch until at least 2027.
There’s no telling how much he’ll be earning when that contract is finalized, but it’s safe to say he doesn’t have to stress too much about his finances when you take a look at how much he’s earned over the course of his time with the NFL.
Here’s how much Roger Goodell has raked as NFL Commissioner
Goodell has been working for the NFL in some capacity since securing an internship all the way back in 1982 at a time when Pete Rozelle worked in the position he currently occupies.
He slowly worked his way up the ranks and found a mentor in the form of Paul Tagliabue, who replaced Rozelle in 1989 before ultimately handing the reins over to Goodell when he retired ahead of the 2006 season.
Goodell had to deal with a number of high-profile scandals and controversies over the course of his first decade as commissioner. That includes Spygate, Bountygate, Deflategate, the 2011 player lockout, the 2012 referee lockout, and disciplinary matters stemming from incidents involving players including Michael Vick, Adam “Pacman” Jones, and Ray Rice (among others).
According to public records examined by Forbes, Goodell was handsomely rewarded for navigating those various issues, as he took home a grand total of $212.5 million between 2006 and 2015.
Goodell’s salary has been kept somewhat under wraps since the NFL voluntarily forfeited its tax-exempt status in 2015, but if we average out that amount, it’s safe to assume he earned $21.5 million in each of the three years that followed.
In 2017, he signed a five-year extension that went into effect in 2019. The commish has had to deal with plenty of headaches since then, but the new contract—which features a number of bonuses stemming from media deals and CBA negotiations—has seemingly paid off for him in a big way.
Based on a report that surfaced in 2021, Goodell earned a whopping $63,900,050 per year between 2019 and 2021. While there’s a chance that sum has increased (or decreased) in subsequent years, if we assume that salary has remained somewhat consistent, it’s reasonable to suggest he’s earned at least $532 million while serving as the commissioner of the NFL.
Must be nice.