The paychecks are awesome, the pressure and responsibility is intense and the criticism is pretty much non-stop.
Roger Goodell’s contract is up in March of 2019 – two more seasons after this one – and working for the NFL is the only job he’s ever had since being hired as a public relations intern in 1982.
Considering the Josh Brown domestic violence crisis, the decrease in television ratings, the concussion issue and CTE, I asked Goodell – he was my guest this week at the WFAN “Chalk Talk” series – how much longer he wants to do this. He was named commissioner in 2006.
“To me, it’s about as long as I feel that I can make a contribution and give it 110% and as long as they want me to continue on it,” he said. “You always have to put the league first. I think people stay too long and I don’t want to be one of them. I want to be able do what I can do to make the league better and go. I’ll make that decision along with others and do what’s best hopefully for the NFL.”
He is aware his approval rating among fans is not what he would like, but also told a member of the audience he’s not concerned what people say about him. “You do what you think is right,” he said. “I don’t really worry about the criticism, frankly.”
After asking Goodell a series of questions about Brown and the TV ratings and just as I was about to transition to the concussion issue, I asked him if the job was any fun.
“I’m having a blast,” he said. “I started as an intern. I wasn’t born a commissioner. I worked hard to get to this position. I spent my life working for it. But it was more than just a job. It was a passion. I love football. I love the NFL. My hero was Pete Rozelle, who was commissioner for close to 30 years. I wake up every morning and pinch myself in some ways. But I also know that I have a tremendous responsibility to a lot of people, including a lot of fans, a lot of sponsors, owners, players and coaches. It’s a more complex job than when I started, that’s for sure. I think Pete, if he was here today, would say it’s more complex than when he was doing it.
“I also love the thrill of it, love the challenge and to protect something that is so important to people and to make it more important to people and bringing people together. That’s a privilege.”
He considers his No. 1 priority “to protect the integrity of the game.”
To do it his way comes with a price — he has to deal with all the ridicule. He thinks it’s worth it and his bosses aren’t complaining. He’s only 57 and there aren’t many jobs out there in this economy that pay $35 million-$40 million per year.
ISLE OF DECLINE
Darrelle Revis admitting that “my body’s breaking down” must make Woody Johnson feel just great. Revis’ five-year $70 million contract signed last year paid him $33 million, all guaranteed, the first two years. Next year $6 million of his $13 million is guaranteed. There is no guaranteed money in the $21 million total over the final two years. Revis, whose injuries and age have made him a liability, will likely be asked to take a big pay cut next year. If he refuses, he could be cut. The Jets could be off the hook for the $6 million if a team signs him for that much or more. If it’s less, they have to make up the difference. Either way, this has turned into a bad contract for the Jets. Bill Belichick used up the last bit of Revis Island to win the Super Bowl two years ago and then let him return to the Jets as a free agent without a fight.
The trading deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. Apparently, the Patriots are not going to trade Tom Brady to the Jets. However, if the Jets somehow lose to the hapless/winless Browns on Sunday, here is a trade suggestion: Brandon Marshall to the Giants for a fourth-round pick. Eli Manning could use a big target — Marshall is 6-4 and that would allow Victor Cruz to move into the slot where he is most effective and cut down on the snaps of rookie Sterling Shepard. Cruz is listed at 6-foot, but that’s a stretch. Odell Beckham Jr. is listed at 5-11 and Shepard at 5-10. Marshall reminds me of Plaxico Burress his great wingspan saved Manning so many times. And let’s face it: If the Jets lose to the Browns, they might as well start the salary dump.
MEET YOUR MATT
Matthew Stafford and the Lions are hot. Stafford is an early MVP candidate with 15 TDs and four INTs and Detroit has won three in a row to get to 4-3. Stafford and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw played youth sports together in Dallas and were teammates in football and baseball at Highland Park High School. Stafford caught Kershaw in baseball and Kershaw was the center on the football team snapping the ball to Stafford. Kershaw thinks Stafford could have made it in baseball if he didn’t play college football at Georgia. “I think Matthew’s probably got the better arm,” Kershaw said. “Put it this way, he can definitely throw a baseball better than I can throw a football.”
ROMO AND DAK
Tony Romo is warming up in the bullpen for the Cowboys with no indication when Jerry Jones will give the signal to bring in the 36-year-old right hander. Romo returned to practice Thursday for the first time since suffering a compression fracture in his back on Aug. 25. He took part in individual drills and was throwing passes 20 to 30 yards downfield. The Cowboys play the Eagles on Sunday night and then they’re in Cleveland. If Dallas is going to make the switch from Dak Prescott, it appeared the Nov. 6 game against the Browns would be the perfect time to ease him back in. Now that does not seem realistic. If Prescott beats the Eagles and Browns and the Cowboys reach the halfway point at 7-1, it will be nearly impossible, not to mention foolish, to make the change. … It’s a battle of the rookie QBs on Sunday night with Prescott vs. Carson Wentz. The Giants should want the Eagles (4-2) to beat the ’Boys, so they will trail both by one game in the loss column. Then the Giants can take care of Philly themselves next Sunday and then have a chance to sweep the Cowboys when they come to MetLife on Dec. 11.
NOT FULL OF STARS
For so many years, this was about the point to start looking forward to the annual Brady vs. Manning game that the NFL would often schedule right after the World Series to kick off the second half of the season. Instead, on Nov. 13, it’s a rematch of Super Bowl XLIX between Brady and the Pats and Russell Wilson of the Seahawks at Foxborough in a Sunday night game. One of the many theories about the decline in NFL ratings is the lack of star power and I think there is something to it. Manning retired, Brady was suspended the first four weeks, Romo hasn’t played, J.J. Watt and Adrian Peterson suffered season-ending injuries in September and Ben Roethlisberger is out with a knee injury. So an anticipated Brady vs. Big Ben matchup last weekend was reduced to Brady vs. Landry Jones. This week, the Pats are in Buffalo. We would have seen Rex Ryan at his trash-talking best if the Bills had defeated the Dolphins last week and faced the Patriots (6-1) one game behind with a five-game winning streak including a 16-0 victory on Oct. 2 in the last game of Brady’s suspension. Instead, the Bills blew a 17-6 lead with 5:51 left in the third quarter in Miami and gave up 22 straight points before a rally fell short and they lost 28-25. … Ryan faces a tough challenge back-to-back: The Pats at home and on the road next Monday night in Seattle. Brady is up first. “I keep thinking if I stay in this conference long enough that dude will retire but I don’t see that happening any time soon,” Ryan said. … In the three games since he came off suspension, Brady is 3-0 with eight TDs, no INTs, has passed for 1,004 yards with a 132.6 QB rating. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him better,” Ryan said.
ON THE RUN
Titans RB DeMarco Murray has rushed for more yards in eight games than he did in 15 games for the Eagles last year. It has to be Chip Kelly’s fault. In 2014, Murray led the NFL with a Cowboys-record 1,845 yards on 392 carries, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Last year in Philly, he carried just 193 times for 702 yards, a 3.6 average. This season, he’s carried 160 times for 756 yards, once again averaging 4.7 yards.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News