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Roger Goodell foregoing salary during coronavirus pandemic

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently had his salary reduced to $0 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to Andrew Beaton of The Wall Street Journal.

Goodell stood to earn $40 million this year if he hit all the incentives in his deal. The commissioner originally made his salary reduction request to the NFL compensation committee earlier this month. According to subsequent reporting by ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, a league spokesman indicated that Goodell’s salary elimination began earlier this month after he volunteered to forgo it.

Goodell’s decision to take no salary at this time is said to have nothing to do with the NFL’s plans for the 2020 season, which as of right now is expected to go on as scheduled.

An email sent by Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II obtained by ESPN confirmed that Goodell’s request was approved by the league’s compensation committee. A memo from Goodell laying out the specifics was also attached to Rooney’s email.

“I wanted to make you aware that yesterday afternoon the Compensation Committee reviewed and approved these measures,” Rooney wrote in the email, as transcribed by Seth Wickersham of ESPN. “It is important to note that the Commissioner and his staff took the initiative to implement these measures as responsible steps in light of the economic uncertainty facing all businesses. Obviously, these are steps we all would prefer not to have to take, and the League office remains committed to planning for a full season in 2020. …

“In addition to the steps outlined in the memo, last month the Commissioner requested that he voluntarily reduce his salary to $0, which went into effect earlier this month.”

Goodell has long been viewed as a villain of sorts by a large contingent of NFL fans, and the five-year contract extension he signed in 2017 that could be worth upwards of $200 million was met with derision as a result of that unsavory reputation.

Along with Goodell taking no salary, pay for top NFL executives and managers is also being implemented in tiers dependent upon the level of employment for said exec. Those reductions, which range from 5% to 15%, will begin in May.