Roger Goodell

Latest On Gruden’s Lawsuit Against NFL

The next step of former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden‘s lawsuit against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell has come and gone with yet another blow to the former head coach’s efforts. With the latest update provided by ESPN this week, the situation continues to seem inevitably headed towards an NFL-led arbitration.

For those unfamiliar with the situation, Gruden sued the league and its commissioner back in 2021 shortly after he felt he was pressured to resign from his job following backlash from the leak of several emails he had sent while he was an employee for ESPN. The emails were sent from 2011 to 2018 to former Commanders president and general manager Bruce Allen and contained inappropriate racist, sexist, and homophobic language. The correspondence was discovered amidst the NFL’s workplace culture investigation into Washington.

Gruden’s initial complaint accused the league of intentionally leaking only his documents selectively. As a result, he claims that the publication of those documents by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times “destroyed his career and scuttled endorsement contracts.”

A district judge in Las Vegas determined that that Gruden’s claims “could show evidence of ‘specific intent’ or an act designed to cause a particular result.” The league appealed to the Nevada State Supreme Court, where a three-justice panel determined (in a 2-1 split decision) that the league was able to force the civil case out of the state courts and into arbitration that could be overseen by Goodell, a named party in the lawsuit.

The two justices who ruled for the NFL claimed that Gruden “understood the NFL constitution allowed for arbitration to resolve disputes” and said that “it wasn’t clear whether Goodell or a designated third-party arbitrator would” oversee the arbitration. The dissenting justice called it “outrageous” that there would even be a possibility Goodell could arbitrate a dispute in which he is a named party.

After this all occurred, we relayed that Gruden had the option to request a rehearing with the three Nevada Supreme Court judges who comprised the split decision votes. He would then potentially have the option to petition for a rehearing including all seven justices that make up the State Supreme Court.

The latest update confirms that Gruden did take that first step, seeking a rehearing from the three-justice panel that made up the May 14 decision. Ultimately, Gruden and his team lost the bid as the panel’s decision was upheld. There have been no reports on whether or not Gruden still can or will seek a rehearing with all seven Nevada Supreme Court members. If his team is able to take this route, the losing party of that rehearing could have the option to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, as the NFL did with the Rams relocation case.

While speculation leaves the door open for plenty of possibilities, the odds continue to stack against Gruden getting anything out of this lawsuit. The NFL’s resources vastly outweigh those of Gruden and his attorneys, and the courts have a history of siding with the league. The signs continue to point towards an NFL-led arbitration that will either be headed by Goodell himself or a third-party selected by Goodell and the league.

Whether Gruden and company continue to fight back against what they perceive to be a targeted attack from the league and its leader is yet to be seen. After two major setbacks, the complainant has seen the direction in which this is moving and may decide to cut their losses and run. They’ve yet to exhaust all of their options, but this week’s July 1 decision has continued to limit their ability to fight on their own terms.

Jerry Jones Supports 18-Game Regular Season; Roger Goodell Addresses Prospective Change

A back-burner matter for many years, discussions about an 18-game season did not cross the goal line during the 2020 CBA discussions. A 17-game compromise came to pass. Four years later, however, momentum appears to be building.

Roger Goodell expressed support for another one-game bump to the schedule, noting (via’s Tom Pelissero) Wednesday the prospect of swapping out a preseason game for an extra regular-season contest — a scenario the longtime commissioner addressed last month — would be “a good trade.” The NFL made this trade in 2021, when it dropped the fourth preseason week for the 17th regular-season game.

Jerry Jones backed Goodell on this front, offering support (via the Washington Post’s Mark Maske) for moving to 18 games. Goodell confirmed another schedule expansion is not currently being discussed but addressed it in a “long-range context.” A report last month suggested the NFL offering significant concessions to the NFLPA in exchange for an extra game could take place well before this CBA expires. The current agreement runs through the 2030 season.

John Mara views most owners as being onboard with an 18th game, but the Giants owner can be counted as a skeptic. Citing player wear and tear, Mara (via’s Jeremy Fowler) has concerns about expanding the schedule.

The NFL schedule stood at 16 games for 43 years (1978-2020), and its 14-game era lasted 17 seasons before that. The NFL now appears prepared to cap the 17-game schedule at less than a decade. This could become the central talking point when the next round of CBA discussions commence, but judging by this topic’s momentum, it should be considered a good bet owners attempt to make 18 games a reality before this CBA expires.

With this prospect gaining steam, players have naturally been asked about it. The subject of a second bye week has come up. A two-bye setup did not advance too far during the talks regarding a 17-game season, but if this change comes during the 2020 CBA’s lifespan, many players will be holdovers from the 16-game era. Asking players to add two games to a schedule would be new territory. By the time the season expanded from 14 to 16 games in 1978, just one player (ex-Vikings ironman Jim Marshall) was a holdover from the 12-game era. At the rate this is going, many players will be part of the 16-, 17- and 18-game periods.

The NFL tried the double-bye format just once — in 1993 — but TV networks were displeased with a diluted schedule; that may well have impacted talks about two byes going into a 17-game format. With the 18-game season coming up more frequently midway through this CBA, expect a push for a permanent two-bye setup to be part of the NFLPA’s counter — assuming the union will consider expanding the schedule again so soon.

It will take much more than adding a bye week to convince the union on 18 games, of course, but this fight appears on tap in the not-too-distant future.

‘Considerable Support’ In Place For Move To 18-Game Schedule

Roger Goodell made some headlines during draft week, expressing an openness to an 18-game regular season. On the fringes for over a decade, this long-running NFL talking point may become a front-burner matter in the not-too-distant future.

NFL owners are believed to largely support Goodell’s preference for 18 games — with a preseason contest being removed from the schedule — according to the Washington Post’s Mark Maske, who reports the league may be eyeing an effort to lengthen the regular season well before the current CBA expires. Agreed to in 2020, this CBA runs through the 2030 season.

Considerable support exists among ownership for a move to 18, Maske adds. While a rumor about support for an 18-game season emerged earlier this year, that report pointed to CBA’s expiration as the point this matter will be decided. It appears, however, we are in for a 2020s effort here.

Seeing as the NFL schedule stood at 16 games from 1978-2020, moving from 17 to 18 so soon would mark a major change. It would also require a significant concession from the NFL to the NFLPA, and a union source informed Maske an expectation the owners bring forth such an offering in the next “12 to 18 months.” Goodell stopped short of saying he would actively pursue a change to 18 games, but the veteran commissioner certainly did not do much to indicate the 17-game schedule is the setup for the long haul.

I think we’re good at 17 now,” Goodell said during an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show. “But, listen, we’re looking at how we continue. I’m not a fan of the preseason … the reality is, I’d rather replace a preseason game with a regular-season game any day. That’s just picking quality. If we get to 18 and 2, that’s not an unreasonable thing.”

The 2020 CBA states, “The League and/or Clubs shall not increase the number of regular season games per Club to eighteen (18) or more games,” which would set the stage for a battle between the league and the union. The NFLPA has stood against an 18-game season dating back to the 2011 CBA talks, and owners shifted to a 17-game goal when the union opposed 18 during the 2020 CBA talks. But it will be interesting to learn what concessions the NFL would make in order to make this long-sought-after number a reality.

How the schedule would be structured represents another central component here. Goodell pointed to the Super Bowl falling on Presidents’ Day weekend as a key measure. We heard years ago the NFL would target Presidents’ Day for its finale, but rumblings about a double-bye season did not lead to that logical plan being implemented. The NFL tried the two-bye setup just once — in 1993 — but networks felt that format weakened the schedule, and that view appeared to remain during the discussions pertaining to a 17-game season. If the NFL were to seriously consider 18 games, a two-bye season would almost have to be considered due to the injury-based resistance the NFLPA will likely show.

The NFL has held its season opener the Thursday after Labor Day since 2002. Removing a preseason game from the schedule and starting the regular season one week early would not add up with regards to the season extending to Presidents’ Day weekend. This would seemingly reopen the door for a two-bye season, and it probably should not be ruled out more safety-based measures — potentially surrounding the offseason schedule or in-season practices — could be concessions offered to the NFLPA.

The NFL is considerably safer than it was during previous eras; practice restrictions lead to a fraction of the contact work in practice past NFL generations endured. But players will certainly voice opposition to the schedule moving from 16 to 18 games in the same decade. The league’s increased safety measures and the salary cap growth that has taken place — and the money that would come from adding a game — is expected to be part of the owners’ push to players in a potential negotiation, Maske adds.

But the NFL has already adjusted the trade deadline, pushing it back one week (to the Tuesday following Week 9), but Browns GM Andrew Berry’s effort to slide the deadline past Week 10 came about because of the rumored 18-game push. It does not appear this topic will die down anytime soon. New NFLPA ownership — led by executive director Lloyd Howell and president Jalen Reeves-Maybin — will be tasked with leading the discussions on the players’ side.

Bills/Steelers Playoff Game Postponed To Monday

The Bills/Steelers matchup scheduled for tomorrow afternoon has been pushed to Monday. New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the first-round playoff game has been postponed to Monday at 4:30pm ET (via Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports). The Bills have officially announced the decision.

Per Jones, Hochul has been communicating with commissioner Roger Goodell about a potential postponement. The storm is expected to reach it’s peak in Buffalo tomorrow afternoon, and the game was set to kick off at 1:00pm. Buffalo is expecting two to three inches of snow per hour, and there will be a travel ban in the city starting tonight through at least 6:00am Sunday morning. Hochul declared a State of Emergency on Friday.

“I’ve been in communication with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell regarding the dangerous conditions in Buffalo this weekend,” Hochul tweeted. “In consultation with our emergency response teams, [Bills] leadership, and the NFL, the Bills game will be postponed to 4:30 pm Monday.”

As Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets, the decision was made to protect those who will be traveling to the game, including fans. In other words, the decision wasn’t made in an effort to improve the on-field product. Per Jones, the Steelers have yet to leave Pittsburgh as of Saturday afternoon, and the organization is now expected to travel on Sunday.

The NFL certainly isn’t afraid of staging playoff games in inclement weather, and while the Bills/Steelers game has been pushed back, the Chiefs and Dolphins are still expected to play tonight in what will rank as one of the coldest games in NFL history (per the Associated Press, via ESPN).

While the NFL rarely moves games, this move isn’t completely unprecedented. In fact, the Steelers previously dealt with a postponed playoff game in 2017, per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor. The game was pushed back seven hours due to traveling concerns in Kansas City. The Steelers ended up winning that game over the Chiefs, with all 18 of Pittsburgh’s points coming via kicker Chris Boswell.

Roger Goodell Extended Through 2027

The long-rumored Roger Goodell contract extension is now official. The NFL announced the longtime commissioner is now signed through 2027, a development that has been in the works for a while.

Goodell, who has been in the commissioner role since succeeding Paul Tagliabue in 2006, is set to pass his predecessor and become the NFL’s second-longest-tenured leader. Pete Rozelle‘s 29-year run may be out of reach for Goodell, who is 64, but this latest extension will allow for the polarizing leader to pass the two-decade mark.

The deal will officially run through March 2027, according to the league’s compensation committee. Goodell took over in August 2006. The league has become a more popular entity during Goodell’s tenure, and two lengthy CBAs have been ratified under his watch. While the current commissioner has taken persistent heat — largely for his handling of off-field punishment — the NFL remains the country’s most popular sport by a substantial margin.

This contract may well be Goodell’s last, with’s Adam Schefter indicating some believe the commissioner will walk away following its completion. For what it’s worth, Goodell did not confirm he would retire after this contract. Tagliabue retired at 65; Rozelle stepped down at 63. Owners had been discussing Goodell’s extension for several months. It loomed on the agenda during league meetings in March and May, but with December the next window to complete the deal, this week’s owners meetings provided the setting for Goodell’s latest re-up.

Goodell’s current contract was set to expire after the 2023 season, with that deal being signed in 2017. After another round of monster TV agreements came to pass during Goodell’s previous contract, owners obviously saw no reason to rock the boat now. Over the course of this new deal, Goodell appears prepared to groom a potential successor. Jim Irsay said in May that Goodell will have the opportunity to help the owners form a candidate list and have input as to whom the league should choose. Goodell also said splitting the commissioner role into two parts, one a CEO-type role and the other dealing more closely with the on-field component, has emerged as a talking point among owners and NFL officials.

Ahead of Goodell’s December 2017 extension, Jerry Jones waged an extensive battle to impede that deal from coming to pass. This came amid a messy back-and-forth that resulted in then-reigning rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott being suspended after a lengthy legal fight. Jones has come back around on Goodell; the Cowboys owner announced Wednesday this latest extension is done.

Goodell’s tenure has seen player safety measures expand exponentially and the NFL begin playing games annually — save for the 2020 and ’21 seasons impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic — in Europe. During his previous extension, Goodell oversaw the completion of a CBA that is in place through the 2030 season. This marked the second decade-long CBA to be ratified during Goodell’s tenure, though the 2020 agreement passed by a slim margin. The latest round of TV deals also have the salary cap back on the rise. The pandemic led to only the second cap reduction in league history, dropping in 2021 as a result of the fanless or fan-limited (depending on the city) 2020 season. Last year, however, restored cap growth.

The NFL managed to complete a full 2020 season, which the other major American sports leagues did not. Granted, the NFL’s slate did not start until the pandemic was several months in, but the league made major changes to its schedule — moving games to Tuesdays and Wednesdays at points — to ensure its completion. The reserve/COVID-19 list became a regular designation, with expanded practice squads and IR flexibility — league components that remain in place — coming about largely because of the pandemic. The 2020 CBA also ushered in a seventh playoff team per conference and a 17th regular-season game, highlighting a run of changes to the game in recent years. Goodell will attempt to further solidify his legacy on what could be his final contract.

Latest On Potential Roger Goodell Extension

News came out in March that a multi-year extension was expected for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. That pact has still not been made official, but he remains on course to oversee the league for years to come.

Goodell had the framework in place for a three-year extension in the spring, which would keep him in place through the 2027 season. Owners have not yet held a vote to ratify that agreement, but the upcoming league meeting will provide them the latest opportunity to do so. The new contract is still on track to be hammered out, Mark Maske of the Washington Post notes.

Notably, Maske adds that it remains unclear if next week’s meeting will be used to finalize the Goodell extension. The 64-year-old is still intent on holding his post through the remainder of this season and the three following it, though. As Maske adds, it is unknown at this point what factor(s) represent a roadblock to the agreement having already been dealt with, though ratification during this month’s meetings would fall in line with the previously reported timeline in that regard.

Presuming the deal does go through as expected, Goodell will be in line to carry out the final chapter of his commissioner’s tenure (which began in 2006). His current contract – signed in 2017 – was at one point thought to be his last, but he remains willing to continue as the league’s second-longest serving commissioner. Staying in place through 2027 will allow Goodell to assist in the process of finding his successor and carry on his tenure through much of the current CBA’s length. Negotiations on the latter front set the league up for signficant financial growth in the short- and intermediate-term future and helped Goodell remain in the owners’ good graces.

“You just know it’s going to get done, and you don’t worry about it,” an unnamed source told Maske with respect to the likelihood of the Goodell deal being finalized soon. “Do the owners still want him? The answer is yes. Does Roger still want to be there? The answer is yes. It’s no problem.”

Extra Points: Loya, Goodell, Cook

Texans minority owner Javier Loya has had his tenure with the organization put on hold in the wake of multiple sex crime charges being brought against him. Loya is facing one rape charge, along with five first-degree and one third-degree sexual abuse charge, as detailed by KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson.

The charges stem from incidents in May of 2022 in Kentucky. Loya, who is due to take part in a pretrial conference on August 22, has agreed to withdraw from all Texans activities until his case has been resolved. The NFL also confirmed in a statement that Loya has been removed from all league committees.

“Mr. Loya is innocent and has pled not guilty to all charges,” a statement from attorney Andrew Sarne reads. “He unequivocally and categorically denies these allegations and will vigorously defend his innocence. Mr. Loya has voluntarily taken and 100% passed a polygraph test which confirms his innocence and looks forward to being vindicated in court.”

Loya, 53, has been a limited partner with the Texans since their inaugural season in 2002. He faced a civil suit alleging sexual misconduct earlier this year, but it was withdrawn. If Loya is convicted on the rape charge, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

Here are some other notes from around the NFL:

  • News of another contract extension for commissioner Roger Goodell first came out in March. That new deal, which will be three years in length and keep him in place through 2027, has been considered a certainty to be finalized throughout the offseason. A firm timeline for ratification has emerged; Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports (via Twitter) that owners are aiming to agree to the extension during the October league meetings in New York. Goodell has been at the helm of the NFL since 2006, and it is expected that the 64-year-old’s next deal will be his last.
  • Dalvin Cook has generated plenty of headlines this offseason with his high-profile free agency, but his legal situation has also seen recent developments. The 28-year-old was cleared to proceed with a defamation counterclaim in court stemming from the ongoing allegation of assault, battery and false imprisonment made by Gracelyn Trimble. In an update on the situation, Rochelle Olson of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that the latter was offered a $1MM payout by Cook. The offer included the condition that Trimble send a letter to the NFL “absolving Cook of wrongdoing.” Trimble has already testified to the contrary, and court filings detailing the attempt to put the case (which began in November 2021) to rest via a settlement could strengthen her argument. Cook remains unsigned.
  • The NFL has updated its personal conduct policy in a way which gives the league wider authority with respect to issuing punishments in a number of situations. That includes adding sexual assault to the list of offenses which can receive heavy suspensions, as noted by the New York Times’ Jenny Vrentas. The alterations come in the wake of Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson receiving what was initially a six-game ban for sexual misconduct alleged by more than two dozen women. The suspension (which was ultimately upped to 11 games) was limited in part by the wording of the league’s previous policy and the precedents set by other violations. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk adds, meanwhile, that the new policy also gives the NFL the power to hand down discipline to players for violations which occurred before they entered the league. Incidents dating back to college, for example, will now fall under the scope of the league when investigations take place.

Saints RB Alvin Kamara Plans To Meet With Roger Goodell

Saints running back Alvin Kamara recently resolved his criminal and civil cases stemming from his involvement in the assault of a man in a Las Vegas nightclub in February 2022. As PFR’s Sam Robinson observed when the resolution was reported, it is now much likelier that the league will hit Kamara with a suspension before the 2023 campaign gets underway. Before that happens, however, Kamara plans to have an in-person meeting with league commissioner Roger Goodell to tell his side of the story, as Jeff Duncan of reports.

Per Duncan, the Saints encouraged Kamara to set up the meeting in an attempt to reduce the size of his suspension, which could be up to six games. It is unclear when the meeting will take place, but it seems that Kamara and Goodell will get together in the next couple of days. Kamara has told reporters that he plans to meet with the media on Wednesday, August 2, saying, “I’ll talk to you all on August 2 after I talk to [Goodell].”

The Las Vegas incident represents the first off-field transgression in Kamara’s seven-year career, as Duncan observes. Nonetheless, it is a serious one, and GM Mickey Loomis has said that the league has not provided any timeline for its decision.

Kamara’s legal matter encountered frequent delays, leaving him free to play throughout the 2022 season. The Saints were less prepared for a Kamara ban last year, but the team has made preparations this offseason. New Orleans agreed to terms on a three-year, $12MM deal with former Packer and Lion Jamaal Williams — last season’s rushing touchdowns leader — and used a third-round pick on TCU back Kendre Miller.

Nonetheless, Kamara should remain the Saints’ top back whenever he is eligible to play, and he will continue to be a focal point of the club’s offense. He is coming off something of a down year, having scored just four total TDs in 2022, but he still posted nearly 1,400 all-purpose yards on 280 touches. While he is techincially under club control through 2025 on his $15MM/year contract, it seems unlikely he will make it to that season without being released or having his contract restructured (his base salary balloons to over $22MM in 2025). If Kamara should turn in a disappointing year in 2023, New Orleans could save some cap space by designating him a post-June 1 cut next year, though the team would also be saddled with a fair amount of dead money in that scenario.

The NFL has declined to comment on the Kamara-Goodell summit.

Roger Goodell Addresses Potential Sovereign Investment In NFL Teams

The NFL witnessed its most recent franchise sale earlier this week, and the league remains in a position where (with the exception of the Packers) only private individuals are allowed to hold a stake in its teams. Commissioner Roger Goodell was recently asked about the possibility of that model changing.

Sovereign investment in North American and European sports franchises has become in increasingly common in recent years, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) representing one of many examples of the power of foreign money. The proposed merger involving the rival PGA and LIV golf tours is one instance of the PIF’s expanding reach, something which prompted a question to Goodell about the NFL’s stance on the matter.

“We haven’t made the move as other leagues have to any kind of public investment,” Goodell said during an appearance on CNBC (via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post, on Twitter). “It’s something we’ll contemplate at some point in time, but we really like our basic model now where we have private ownership. Those owners are in the meeting room, they’re part of the league and they’re part of our success.”

The level of interest shown in football by the PIF or similar entities remains unclear at this point, so the NFL has little urgency to explore foreign investment for the time being. Developments in that regard could be worth watching closely in other North American pro leagues, however, given the fact that many NFL owners also have a controlling stake in other franchises.

The exploding value of NFL teams has been a notable trend recently, and finances were a potential issue raised with the $6.05 billion purchase of the Commanders from the group led by Josh Harris. He assembled 20 minority partners to help fund the deal, but all majority owners are required to provide 30% of the sales price up front upon purchase. With the cost of doing so set to continue increasing considerably, the idea of foreign investors joining the league could remain a talking point for the foreseeable future, though Goodell’s remarks point to an acceptance of that being unlikely to take place soon.

No Decision Imminent On Roger Goodell Extension, Tom Brady Raiders Ownership Endeavor

July 20 will be a highly important date on the 2023 offseason calendar, with a ratification vote on the sale of the Commanders set to take place. That summit will not include serious discussions of a few other key league matters.

Owners are not expected to arrive at a final resolution on the topics of commissioner Roger Goodell‘s extension or Tom Brady‘s attempt to become a minority owner of the Raiders during the upcoming special league meeting, per Mark Maske of the Washington Post (Twitter link). Neither of those agenda items have as much urgency as the expected transfer of Commanders ownership to Josh Harris, a process which may have encountered a last-minute roadblock.

News of another new deal for Goodell first came out in March, and it has since been confirmed that it will be finalized at some point this offseason. The deal will keep Goodell under contract through 2027, and bring his tenure past the two-decade mark. The 64-year-old is also expected to begin identifying his successor, one who will no doubt be tasked with continuing Goodell’s efforts in growing the league’s revenues to an unprecedented degree. Maintaining the status quo for the intermediate future represents an obvious priority for the NFL’s owners.

Brady is aiming to join that group by creating a new partnership with Raiders owner Mark Davis. The pair already have a working relationship given their shared stake in the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, which has led to speculation Brady could join the Raiders in a playing capacity. Instead, the seven-time Super Bowl winner is eyeing a hands-off role in the front office, something which will require specific approval from the league’s other owners. As is the case on the Goodell front, though, plenty of time remains for Brady’s Raiders agreement to receive the green light.

The Commanders sale – which the NFL scheduled for late July, rather than early August, demonstrating the optimism surrounding the prospect of a ‘yes’ vote – will of course be a milestone event in the franchise’s history and a major checkpoint on the league’s summer docket. Informal conversations related to the Goodell and Brady situations could certainly take place in Minneapolis, but more serious consideration will come down the road.