Just ask him.
Guy has a new contract extension that will take him to nearly $20 million per year by the end of the decade. This for a guy whose league is locked in to a no-opt-out 10 year labor agreement, and TV contracts that last almost as long.
In other words, the cake is baked on this league making ridiculous money for the next decade, so why do they need to jack this guy's salary to the moon now?
Answer: they don't HAVE to. They do it because they can. Period.
Skip Oliva sums it up perfectly at his blog "Under Penalty of Catapult."
Some brief comments on reports that Roger Goodell’s recent contract extension will pay him upwards of $20 million annually:
1. This isn’t about Goodell’s subjective value as an executive. During the lockout, we learned Goodell’s value in that sense is $1. There’s no competition for Goodell’s services and he’s publicly maintained he’s never wanted to work anywhere but the NFL.
2. This contract is primarily about the owners’ validating their prior decision to elect Goodell commissioner.
3. This contract further proves my contention that the league isn’t about profitability, but maximizing consumption for its own sake. “Hey, we can spend $20 million on this guy who adds little to our product!” Think of Roger as a very tiny stadium.
4. Goodell does provide one valuable service to the league. He consistently sells fans on the idea that players aren’t valuable as individuals. He breeds resentment among the customers against the product, yet does so in a manner that (for now) hasn’t damaged demand for the product. He’s almost like a Super Skip Bayless—a troll that keeps you interested.REACT: "Think of Roger as a very tiny stadium." Boom. Roasted. Nice.
Better yet was this comment attached to the Mike Florio re-cap of the contract on PFT.com. "Would be a sweet twist of fate if they cut him three years into his mega-deal before he got to the big money… just like teams do to players. Then he can hit up free agency for aging commissioners. I’m sure the IHL or the Putt Putt Pro-Am will come calling."
Roddy White of the Falcons took to twitter to rip the news.
“How in the hell can u pay a man this much money that cant run tackle or catch,” White wrote. “Roger Goodell is getting over never seen anything like it 20 million for looking over the league with tremendous help I guess the NFL is banking.”
White added, “the players make this league dont ever forget that.”
Sorry, Rod. You guys (players) had your chance. You had this league, and the machinery which produces such absurd financial excess, by the balls. You had the chance, if you could just weather a mere 4 months or so of missed paychecks, to bring the owners to their knees.
You blinked. They won.
You can address it again in 9 short years. I'm sure you'll still be around by then.