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The commish in until '07

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  • The commish in until '07

    Associated Press
    NEW YORK -- Paul Tagliabue will remain as NFL commissioner through the end of the 2007 season.

    Tagliabue has officially agreed to the new deal, announced last March, to extend his current contract that would have expired after next season, league officials said Monday.

    Tagliabue will be 67 when the contract expires -- he would have retired at 65 had he stuck to his current deal. The new one is expected to pay him around $8 million a year, putting him on a level with NBA commissioner David Stern as the highest paid chief executives in professional sports.

    The deal has been approved unanimously by the NFL's 32 owners.

    It was first conceived during spring meetings in Palm Beach, Fla., last March in order to keep Tagliabue on through the upcoming television and labor negotiations.

    "He's taken the league to a new level," Pittsburgh owner Dan Rooney has said of Tagliabue. "The television situation is phenomenal, the relationship with the players union is great. We're entering an important period and we want him to continue to lead us through it. It's obvious what we think of him."

    Tagliabue, who had been the NFL's chief outside lawyer, took over after Pete Rozelle stepped down in March of 1989.

    At the time, he was the candidate of newer owners after a committee of the "old-guard" appointed by Rozelle recommended Jim Finks, the New Orleans Saints general manager.

    But Tagliabue's ability to generate television revenues and get cities to build or renovate stadiums, has made him popular with everyone _ in the 15 years he's been commissioner, 21 of the 32 teams either have built new facilities or renovated older ones and the $17.6 billion television contract that expires after next season is the biggest in sports history.

    "He's been the right man for the right time," said 87-year-old Wellington Mara of the New York Giants, an early Finks supporter who helped orchestrate the compromise that led to Tagliabue's selection. "Pete was right for his time and it turns out that Paul has been right for his."

Related Topics


  • Rambos
    Tagliabue to retire in July
    by Rambos
    Updated: March 20, 2006, 1:56 PM ET
    NFL commissioner Tagliabue to retire in news services

    NEW YORK -- Paul Tagliabue is retiring as NFL commissioner in July after more than 16 years on the job.

    The 65-year-old commissioner has led the league since 1989, when he succeeded Pete Rozelle, and had recently signed a two-year contract extension to complete the television and labor deals.

    He finally got that done 12 days ago, finishing the most arduous labor negotiations since the league and union agreed on a free agency-salary cap deal in 1992.

    "I believe that now is a positive time to make the transition to a new commissioner," Tagliabue said in a statement.

    "We have a collective bargaining extension in place, long-term television contracts, and have undertaken many other strong elements in league and club operations," Tagliabue said. "I am honored to have been commissioner since late 1989 and to have been heavily involved with the league, its owners, clubs, coaches, players, fans and media since 1969."

    ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported on March 9 that Tagliabue was expected to exercise a clause in his contract with league owners in which he becomes a "senior executive" consultant with a significant compensation package. Tagliabue and the NFL did not comment at the time.

    Tagliabue will be available to serve in a senior executive/advisory role through May 31, 2008 once a new commissioner is selected.

    Roger Goodell, the NFL's chief operating officer, and Atlanta general manager Rich McKay are the two leading candidates to succeed Tagliabue. Baltimore Ravens president Dick Cass is considered a dark horse.

    Goodell has worked side by side with Tagliabue on numerous issues, ranging from franchise stability, new stadium construction, TV contract negotiations and the most recent collective bargaining agreement, in which he was an active participant.

    Tagliabue has said he wants to avoid the kind of seven-month deadlock that occurred between him and the late Jim Finks after Rozelle stepped down in March 1989.

    Tagliabue called Pittsburgh's Dan Rooney, the NFL's senior owner, early Monday to tell him of the decision.

    "We've got the best labor deal in sports. We've got the best league. He's been our leader. The whole way he's done this has been wonderful," Rooney told The Associated Press.

    The announcement was made officially in an e-mail to the other owners at noon ET.

    Tagliabue will stay on with the NFL as a senior executive and a consultant through 2008, part of the contract extension he signed last July.

    Tagliabue's term will be remembered most for labor peace following strikes in 1982 and 1987. His close relationship with Gene Upshaw, the union's executive...
    -03-20-2006, 11:51 AM
  • RamWraith
    Goodell chosen as NFL's new commissioner
    by RamWraith wire reports

    NORTHBROOK, Ill. (Aug. 8, 2006) -- The transition was swift and smooth -- and unanimous.

    Roger Goodell, who never stopped rising through the ranks during his lifelong devotion to the NFL, was chosen by the league's 32 owners Tuesday in a vote that took only three hours to complete.

    Favored for months to win the job, Goodell was the unanimous choice on the owners' fifth ballot, and said he expects to begin serving a five-year contract before the regular season starts.

    "I spent my life following my passion," said Goodell, who becomes the league's fourth commissioner since 1946. "The game of football is the most important thing. You can never forget that.

    Roger Goodell takes over the commissioner post from Paul Tagliabue.
    Roger Goodell takes over the commissioner post from Paul Tagliabue.
    The 47-year-old Goodell succeeds the man who groomed him for the job, Paul Tagliabue.

    "We've had the two greatest sports commissioners in the history of professional sports, Paul Tagliabue and Pete Rozelle, and I was fortunate to work for both of them," Goodell said. "I look forward to the challenge and thank them again for their confidence."

    The son of former U.S. Sen. Charles Goodell of New York, he worked his way from a public relations intern to perhaps the most powerful job in American sports, most recently serving as Tagliabue's top assistant, particularly on expansion and stadium construction. In 2000, he became the NFL's chief operating officer.

    League revenues have skyrocketed during the 17 years under Tagliabue, who said he would leave his post after brokering new television and labor deals. The NFL will collect about $10 billion in TV rights fees during the next six years, and enjoys labor peace with the players' association under an agreement completed in March.

    "Replacing Paul was not easy, and I think we've done a great job in selecting Roger," said Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. "The NFL is a complex business. Finding the right person to keep it on course was critical, and we did it."

    Goodell beat four other finalists: lawyers Gregg Levy and Frederick Nance; Fidelity Investments vice chairman Robert Reynolds; and Constellation Energy chairman Mayo Shattuck III.

    Goodell wasn't certain when he will assume office, although Tagliabue planned to leave the job this month.

    "I believe in continuity," said Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay. "It's a lot like with head coaches, and that's what Roger brings us."

    Goodell's election was much less complicated than when Tagliabue was chosen in 1989. It took seven months to select a successor to Rozelle. Originally, the top choice appeared to be Saints president Jim Finks, who was recommended by an advisory committee....
    -08-08-2006, 07:22 PM
  • .ramfan.
    Negotiations not going well...
    by .ramfan.
    NFL Says Negotiations Are Not Going Well
    Friday, February 03, 2006
    There's nothing like a little gloom and doom at the end of Super Bowl week. NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue's pessimism about labor negotiations with the players' union permeated his annual state of the league address Friday.

    "We're not making the kind of progress we need to be making," he said. "I don't think negotiations are going very well."

    Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said the same thing the previous day. Upshaw warned that without significant movement by March 9, the union will consider its legal options.

    The collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2007 season. But under the current contract, there would be no salary cap in 2007. Upshaw insists if the cap disappears then, it won't come back.

    Tagliabue doesn't recognize March 9 as any particular deadline _ after all, there are two full seasons remanning under the deal _ but he has a sense of urgency.

    Unfortunately, he believes the owners and players are drifting farther apart.

    "I do think there needs to be an outreach and more reality on both sides," Tagliabue said. "There needs to be a positive dose of reality on both sides of the table. To some degree, positions are hardening on both sides when they shouldn't be."

    He wasn't optimistic about making much progress in negotiations before the league's meetings begin March 25 in Orlando, Fla.

    "A lot of things get done at the 11th hour and 59th minute," Tagliabue said. "I don't know if we'll get something done by the league meetings."

    These talks have become more contentious in great part because team owners can't agree among themselves how to divide revenues that will go to the players. High-revenue teams who make more money from sources other than television and ticket sales are balking at contributing the same percentage of their income as low-revenue franchises.

    Patriots owners Robert Kraft, one of the league's power brokers, believes a CBA extension must preclude any agreement among the owners on how to split money.

    "Until we know what our deal is with the union, we can't come together among ourselves on revenue sharing," he said.

    Upshaw talked Thursday about a potential decertification of the union. Tagliabue conceded those were possibilities, but "I don't think we'll be in litigation or decertification."

    Tagliabue also:

    _ noted that while the "Rooney rule" that requires interviewing minority candidates for coaching and front office jobs is working, no minorities got any of the eight openings filled thus far.

    "I thought we were getting beyond the stereotypes and these men were accepted...
    -02-03-2006, 03:21 PM
  • RamFan_Til_I_Die
    Goodell: I'll work for $1 if NFL has work stoppage
    by RamFan_Til_I_Die
    NEW YORK (AP) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will cut his salary to $1 if there is a work stoppage after the collective bargaining agreement expires in March.

    Goodell, who makes about $10 million a year including bonuses, said in a memo to his staff Wednesday that chief negotiator Jeff Pash will do the same. Pash makes nearly $5 million a year.

    Goodell also has asked the league's compensation committee to delay any bonus payments to him until after a deal is reached with the NFL Players Association.

    "Let me emphasize that we are fully committed to doing everything possible to reach a new collective bargaining agreement without any disruption to our business," Goodell said. "The entire senior leadership team stands with me in its commitment to resolving the CBA issues with the player's union.

    "While several other executives have also volunteered to make additional reductions to their compensation, I have asked them not to take that step at this time as we continue our negotiating efforts."

    NFL owners opted out of the agreement in 2008.

    Union chief DeMaurice Smith has predicted the owners will lock out the players after the March 4 expiration of the contract with the league.

    NFLPA communications director Carl Francis was not impressed by Goodell's memo.

    "I have been around long enough to know that this decision is irrelevant to the process," Francis said. "He should also guarantee there won't be a lockout."
    -01-26-2011, 11:39 AM
  • r8rh8rmike
    League, Players' Union Agree To 24-Hour Extension In Labor Talks
    by r8rh8rmike
    League, players' union agree to 24-hour extension in labor talks

    By Jason La Canfora NFL Network
    NFL Network Insider
    March 3, 2011

    WASHINGTON -- The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed Thursday to a 24-hour extension of the negotiating window for a new collective bargaining agreement, sources told NFL Network's Kara Henderson.

    Momentum to approve the idea of "stopping the clock" built throughout Thursday as the sides met for over eight hours in front of federal mediator George Cohen.

    The original expiration date for the current CBA had been 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday. Now the union's deadline to possibly decertify is 4 p.m. ET Friday, according to NFL Network's Albert Breer.

    The 24-hour extension could very well lead to a longer extension, according to a league source.

    U.S. District Judge David Doty was in his chambers in Minnesota, prepared to review whatever was put his way. However, Todd Winter, one of Doty's law clerks, said the office wouldn't comment on anything regarding CBA negotiations at this time.

    Doty would have to sign-off on any extension before it becomes valid.

    "We're going to keep working," NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said Thursday.

    "We're working as hard as we can," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said upon leaving the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services offices Thursday.

    Many members of both negotiating teams remained inside the FMCS offices, according to league sources. The departure of some members has not stopped the dialogue. Multiple people remain and one source said, talks with Cohen "could go late."

    During the one-day extension, teams can still operate under current CBA, according to a league source. Teams can still release players up to the Friday waiver deadline, as well as sign existing free agents or extend player contracts.

    The NFLPA isn't willing to take decertification -- as defined by the rights in the current CBA -- off the table, according to sources, just as the NFL is certain not to rule out the possibility of a lockout.

    A time extension or "stopping the clock" occurred during the 2006 labor negotiations, and a deal ultimately was reached. The NFLPA was prepared to decertify Thursday if no deal or extension was reached.

    If the union eventually decertifies, sources told Breer that quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees would serve as the lead plaintiffs in any potential antitrust lawsuit filed against the league.

    The union has been asking league owners to open their books and reveal more economic data about expenses and revenue. After meeting with Cohen on Wednesday night, a source said, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his negotiating team were in a position where they would be inclined...
    -03-03-2011, 04:27 PM