NFL Paid Roger Goodell $44MM+ Last Year

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell received another significant bump in salary during the last fiscal year, according to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal. Kaplan reports that the NFL paid Goodell a total of $44.2MM in the year that ended March 31, 2013, a figure that includes $9.1MM in deferred pay.

A year ago, word broke that Goodell had earned nearly $30MM during the previous fiscal year, a salary that raised plenty of eyebrows since it came on the heels of a league lockout. Prior to the league’s new labor deal, Goodell’s top pay was $11.5MM, according to Kaplan. The league, which defended Goodell’s pay, stressed that his actual earnings for the year are closer to $35MM, with $9MM+ of that overall amount coming from deferred bonuses and pension from the 2011 lockout period.

“Goodell’s compensation reflects our pay-for-performance philosophy and is appropriate given the fact that the NFL under his consistently strong leadership continues to grow,” wrote NFL team owners Arthur Blank (Falcons), Robert Kraft (Patriots), and Jerry Richardson (Panthers) in a letter that Kaplan says was to be emailed to the rest of the league’s owners this afternoon.

Despite the justification from the league’s compensation committee, Goodell’s massive salary doesn’t do much to dissuade the notion that the 2011 labor deal was one that favored the league’s management owners, an agreement for which the commissioner is now being reward. It also figures to raise more questions about the NFL’s non-profit status.

According to Kaplan, Goodell’s earnings for last year almost certainly make him sports’ highest-paid executive, likely surpassing MLB commissioner Bud Selig.

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