As commissioner of the National Football League and “protector of the shield,” Goodell has ruffled nearly everyone’s feathers since beginning his tenure as commissioner in 2006. The 60-year-old has been criticized for his handling of things like the Colin Kaepernick national anthem fiasco, the league’s domestic violence policy regarding players like Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Tyreek Hill, the severity of penalties imposed on Saints coaches and players involved in Bountygate and the Patriots, Tom Brady and the Ppygate and Deflategate scandals.
For all of Goodell’s negative moves, there are positives as well. He was instrumental in working toward a new collective bargaining agreement that ended the 2011 lockout. He’s led the NFL’s growth overseas in Europe and in Mexico with the NFL International Series, as well as on TV with the launch of NFL Network. He’s been committed to making the league safer by limiting concussions and banning dangerous hits.
Goodell is the head honcho for the biggest pro sports league in the United States and the world, which makes him the single most powerful person in sports. It’d be an understatement to say he’s been compensated accordingly so.
So what’s Roger Goodell’s net worth? Let’s dig into how he’s built his fortune.
Early Life and Intern
Born Roger Stokoe Goodell to parents Jean and U.S. Senator Charles Ellsworth Goodell in Jamestown, New York, Roger was a three-sport star at Bronxville High School, where as a senior he was named the school’s athlete of the year.
Goodell didn’t play any of his sports in college (football, basketball and baseball) but attended Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, and earned a degree in economics in 1981.
Believe it or not, the most powerful man in the world began his career in football as a lowly intern. In 1982, he wrote letters to all 28 teams in the league office before accepting a position as an administrative intern for the league office in New York.
One year later, the New York Jets hired him as an intern before he returned to the league office as a public relations department assistant in 1984. It wasn’t until 1987 that Goodell began to move up the totem pole, when he served as assistant to the president of the American Football Conference (AFC).
By 2001, Goodell was appointed NFL Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer under former commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Then in 2006, Goodell was voted in by team owners as the league’s eighth commissioner.
I’ve already covered some of Goodell’s major decisions and actions as commissioner, so let’s skip to the financial details of his tenure.
Forbes reported that from 2006 (Goodell’s inaugural year) until 2017 (prior to his contract extension) Goodell made a whopping $212.5 million as commissioner of the league. Over the last year reported, he took home a jaw-dropping $32 million in 2015.
That number alone is more than any NFL player salary — including the top seven, which are all quarterbacks making around $30 million annually — despite them putting their health on the line every time they take the field.
What’s scary is Goodell could rake in even more money under his new contract extension in 2017 that is set to keep him as commissioner through the 2023 season.
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, Goodell will make a base salary of $4 million in 2019 is part of the five-year contract that could be worth as much as $200 million if a number of incentives are met. That means his yearly income could approach as much as $40 million a year.
Goodall’s contract extension, of course, was met with plenty of skepticism across the league.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a billionaire himself, wasn’t happy with the contract following the six-game suspension of Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliot. Jones, however, claimed he was against a six-person compensation committee comprised of NFL owners negotiating with Goodell without input from every owner (including Jones).
The bottom line is that Goodell has been a money-making machine for team owners, and money talks.
As Forbes notes, when Goodell took over in 2006 the average NFL franchise was worth less than $900 million and had profits of $31 million. Ten years later, those numbers had jumped to $2.5 billion and $101 million.
The NFL is growing, too. Right now, NFL’s annual revenue is at about $15 billion and is trending toward Goodell’s goal of $25 billion by 2027.
Despite the scandals and negative press that have plagued Goodell’s career, he’s been instrumental in the NFL’s expansion and success since 2006. For that, he’s made a boatload of money and will keep cashing in for years to come.
Goodell’s net worth is estimated at $150 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Goodell is married to Fox News Channel anchor Jane Skinner and has twin daughters. Based on his net worth and what Skinner takes home, it appears the Goodell family is set for life.
Based on his contract extension and the job he’s done growing the league, it doesn’t appear Goodell is going anywhere. Get used to booing him for years to come at the podium prior to that first overall selection.