NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made $34 million in 2014, down from the $44 million he received in 2013. ESPN’s Darren Rovell first reported the news on Tuesday.
Goodell’s salary has been the subject of great publicity and even greater scorn in recent years. President Obama said in an interview with Bill Simmons for GQ in November that he “could not believe” the commissioner made $44 million.
While $34 million is not exactly a small sum, Goodell’s $10 million pay cut may be a sign that he no longer has the unwavering support of some of the league’s strongest owners.
Among Goodell’s biggest supporters over the years has been New England owner Robert Kraft, who vigorously defended Goodell’s $44 million salary when the massive number became public in 2013. But as a result of Deflategate, Kraft reportedly “felt stung” by Goodell. Kraft is among the most influential owners in the NFL; his strained relationship with Goodell could have reverberated among other owners, too.
Between Deflategate, the Rams and Chargers moving to L.A., the league’s handling of numerous reports of domestic violence (most notably Ray Rice and Greg Hardy), and the league’s fickle relationship with research on head trauma, the NFL has never been under more public scrutiny.
It’s also never made more money. In 2015, the NFL split $7.2 billion in revenue. Goodell’s salary, at $34 million in 2014, is a reminder of how popular and powerful the league continues to be, year in and year out.