Roger Goodell's pay is cut to $34.9 million

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 2/16/2016, 3:54 p.m.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took a nearly $9 million pay cut for the 2013-14 season, according to a new tax ...
Commissioner Roger Goodell

By Chris Isidore

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took a nearly $9 million pay cut for the 2013-14 season, according to a new tax filing.

But with a salary of $34.9 million, he still earned more than all but one NFL player.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took home $38.3 million that season, thanks to a huge signing bonus, making him the only player who made more than Goodell, according to salary tracker Spotrac.

Goodell earned $44.2 million for the 2012-13 season, and collected a total of $140 million from the league in the six seasons for which data is available, far more than any player received in the same period.

The pay for the commissioners of other sports leagues isn't disclosed.

The NFL has to disclose Goodell's pay because during the 2013-14 season it still operated as a not-for-profit organization, dispersing profits to the league's 32 teams rather than keeping the money itself.

But last year the league decided to end its not-for-profit status, which means it won't have to disclose commissioner pay.

Goodell has helped the league and its owners achieve tremendous financial success, making the NFL by far the most profitable sports league in the world.

The NFL likely had revenue of $10.5 billion in the 2013-14 season, according to a CNNMoney analysis of publicly disclosed data. That grew to about $12 billion the following season, thanks to more TV rights deals, more sponsorship revenues and higher ticket sales.

And that revenue will continue to grow thanks to a new rights deal the league just reached with NBC and CBS to show Thursday night games.

But Goodell has been a controversial figure.

He admitted he made a mistake when he originally gave a two-game suspension to Baltimore Raven Ray Rice during the 2014 season when a video showed Rice dragging his unconscious fiance out of a casino elevator. When another video surface showing him knocking her out there were cries for Goodell to resign, and even some sponsors criticized him.

Goodell later suspended New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the so-called "deflategate" scandal, but a court overturned his decision.

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