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NFL extends Goodell’s contract through 2018 season

- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's contract was extended Wednesday through the 2018 season.

The 52-year-old Goodell took over for Paul Tagliabue in 2006. His original five-year contract was extended in 2009, and the new extension runs through March 2019.

He was rewarded by the 32 clubs after one of the league's most successful seasons, even though it was preceded by a 4 1-2 month lockout that led to a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement. Goodell made about $10 million, including bonuses, in his previous deal; during the lockout, he had a $1 salary.

No terms were disclosed for the new contract.

"It is the only place I have ever wanted to work," Goodell said after the league's compensation committee approved the extension. "I am grateful for the contributions and counsel of NFL owners in managing our league, the talented staff that supports us, and the players and coaches that perform their magic on the field. It is truly a team effort.

"I am eagerly looking ahead to the challenge of building on our momentum and doing all we can to improve our game for the fans and everyone that is part of our league."

Goodell has made player safety and discipline his main focal points, and the league has ramped up fines and even suspensions for illegal hits. He also has been criticized for how the league dealt with retired players and with post-career health issues such as brain trauma; both issues have become priorities for Goodell and the league in recent years.

"I speak on behalf of 32 NFL club owners in saying we are fortunate to have Roger Goodell as our commissioner," said Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, chairman of the compensation committee, which also includes owners Tom Benson (New Orleans), Pat Bowlen (Denver), Robert Kraft (New England), Jerry Richardson (Carolina), and Steve Ross (Miami). "Since becoming commissioner in 2006, the NFL - already the leader in professional sports - has gotten even stronger.

"As evidenced by this contract extension, we have great confidence in Roger's vision and leadership of the NFL. Our clubs, players and fans could not ask for a better CEO."

The Sports Business Journal first reported the extension.

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