Here’s What Players Think of the NFL Commissioner’s Contract

ESPN asked members of Raiders, Lions, Bills and Steelers to comment on Roger Goodell's deal.

National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference on September 19, 2014 inside the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City. Goodell took the time to address personal conduct issues in the NFL.  (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference on September 19, 2014 inside the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City. Goodell took the time to address personal conduct issues in the NFL. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
By David Kiefaber / November 17, 2017 3:04 pm

The feud between Jerry Jones and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has gotten a lot of coverage recently due to Jones’ issues with Goodell’s contract. Jones, who accused Goodell of hiding details of his contract from team owners, has mounted considerable opposition to Goodell’s reinstatement as commissioner, prompting a group of team owners loyal to Goodell to send Jones a cease-and-desist.

What’s missing from all this turmoil is how the players themselves feel about Goodell’s contract, which demands a $49.5 million salary, private jet access, and lifetime health insurance for Goodell’s family. ESPN decided to ask around and see what players thought.

Opinions are mixed. Oakland Raiders linebacker NaVorro Bowman called Goodell’s deal “a slap in the face,” adding that “no player in this league has that opportunity and I feel like we should.”

Pittsburgh Steelers’ guard Ramon Foster urged team owners to “think about the players and theirs also,” and agrees with the sentiment that Goodell “probably shouldn’t make no higher than the highest-paid player.”

Detroit Lions safety Glover Quin was particularly incredulous at the terms. “Lifetime health insurance?” he asked ESPN. “And you don’t even play and we play and we can’t even get lifetime health insurance? Come on, man.”

Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander isn’t mad at the contract, but his summary of the terms is almost more damning. “[Goodell] gets $44 million now, right, so what’s six more million?” Alexander asked. “At the end of the day, split up between 32 billionaires, it’s nothing. It’s a write-off for them. It’s a business expense.”

The NFL will convene to deal with Goodell’s contract extension on Dec. 13.