“It’s not ‘done done,’ ” Blank said. “But we’re making good progress that we would expect to make.”
The five-year extension would keep Goodell under contract through 2024.
The finishing touches are being applied to the contract extension as Goodell deals with the raging controversy over NFL players refusing to stand for the national anthem in protest of the treatment of African Americans in the United States. The protests have drawn sharp criticism from President Trump and some fans.
Owners left their meeting Wednesday without enacting a policy that would require players to stand for the anthem. Goodell reiterated after the meeting that the league believes players should stand for the anthem, and Goodell and owners this week continued discussions with players and leaders of the NFL Players Association about league support of players’ community activism.
The new deal would keep Goodell in charge of the league’s next set of labor negotiations with the NFLPA. The current collective bargaining agreement runs through 2020.
Player leaders of the NFLPA voted last month to retain DeMaurice Smith as the union’s executive director and extend his contract while barring other candidates from vying for the job during this election cycle. Smith’s term was to have expired in March. He is to be signed to a contract extension of three to five years, under the NFLPA’s new election procedures.