NFL owners are expected to complete their pending contract extension with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, according to a person familiar with the league’s inner workings.
“It was never off track,” the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the league made no official announcement.
The extension is believed to be for five years and will keep Goodell under contract through 2024. The exact timing of when it will be completed was not certain. Owners are scheduled to meet next month.
Members of the owners’ compensation committee, which oversees Goodell’s contract, spoke by conference call Wednesday. The committee’s chairman is Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank.
There were reports in recent days that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has been working with the committee as an unofficial member, was intervening to put the deal in doubt. ESPN reported Sunday that Jones was slowing or impeding the extension with Goodell. But that was denied by Blank and Jones, and ESPN reported Wednesday night that the deal is being put into writing and will get done in a matter of days or weeks.
The person familiar with the league’s inner workings characterized the speculation about Jones’s involvement putting the extension off course as overstated.
The extension, if completed, would ensure that Goodell would lead the owners through the sport’s next set of labor negotiations with the NFL Players Association. The current collective bargaining agreement runs through 2020.
Player leaders voted Tuesday to reelect DeMaurice Smith as the NFLPA’s executive director, extend his contract and bar challengers from opposing Smith during this election cycle. Smith’s term was to expire in March. The players’ ruling executive committee is to negotiate an extension of three to five years with Smith, under the NFLPA’s new election procedures. A five-year extension would keep Smith under contract through 2023.
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