ESPN reported Sunday that commissioner Roger Goodell had asked for a salary of $49.5 million a year, lifetime use of a private jet and lifetime health insurance for his family in negotiations for a contract extension.
Here’s how NFL players are reacting to Goodell’s reported demands:
"None of the players receive any of those type of compensations, and if a guy that’s not suiting up can demand those type of things, then I feel like the players should be able to demand those type of things and make as much money as a guy that’s not playing in the NFL.
"Those things really bother me because this business wouldn’t operate without the players. I’ve been in this league for eight years and the only coach that I really seen understand that and abide by that has been Jim Harbaugh, when it comes to putting the players first.
"In regards to [Goodell’s] contract, I just don’t think that’s respectable, in regards to the players, and just a slap in the face just due to the job that we have. It just, it doesn’t make sense, just because he’s the commissioner that he gets to make that much money and it be guaranteed. No player in this league has that opportunity and I feel like we should."
Pittsburgh Steelers G Ramon Foster, team player representative
"He wants guaranteed contracts. Think about the players and theirs also. He wants lifetime medical. Think about the players and theirs also. The jet, he can have that one. I couldn’t care less. I can fly Southwest or Delta.
"Think about how hard the negotiation is. That’s my best thing for him. Taste that, I guess. Now that the rabbit’s got the gun, he’s the rabbit and the owners have the gun.
"I saw somebody said he probably shouldn’t make no higher than the highest-paid player. I think that’s pretty fair. I know owners can just tip him a half-a-million apiece and it’d still be frickin’ amazing. But he’s running a business, he’s a CEO, he’s making them millions, billions of dollars. So he can kind of access that salary, whether they pay him that salary or they pay him in bonuses."
"Whatever he makes, I don’t care. It’s up to the owners to decide." -- Brady to Westwood One
"Lifetime health insurance? And you don’t even play and we play and we can’t even get lifetime health insurance? Come on, man.
"If I’m him, I’m obviously trying to get everything I can get. If I’m on the other side, I got to side with Jerry Jones and we got to put this on halt.
"Definitely is a lot of money. Fifty-million bucks. Jeez. Maybe I need to go be commissioner.
"And, I mean, you’re obviously an older guy as a commissioner, so my kids would be gone and graduated, be in school. There’d be nobody in the house but me and my wife, 50 mil, baby? Fifty? And what, this is 2017? By that time, it’ll be 20 years, 30 years, say 20 years, that’s 2037, shoot, it might be 75 mil."
"Fifty million. Sounds good to me. That’s a lot of money. The private jet sounds better. I’d take less money and keep the plane. They didn’t ask me to be the commissioner yet. It sounds great to me."
Buffalo Bills LB Lorenzo Alexander, member of NFLPA executive committee
"I hadn’t seen that, but if you got that type of power and leverage, I would ask for it, too. It’s a multibillion-dollar industry and they say he’s done a great job. He gets $44 million now, right, so what’s six more million? At the end of the day, split up between 32 billionaires, it’s nothing. It’s a write-off for them. It’s a business expense. I would ask for it if I could. I’m not mad at it."
Detroit Lions LB Tahir Whitehead
"He wants to get paid more, well, so do the players. I want to get paid more, you know. You want to go, I believe that would be doubling his or something like that. Like, well, I want an increase, I want a bump. Let’s talk about that. You know, the guys actually going out there and risking it. Let’s talk about our health care and increasing that and so on and so forth. That’s all I have to say about that."
"It seems like a great deal of money, but obviously I’ve never been in that position to know what those guys make or anything. It seems pretty close to what he’s been making the last four or five years, so it can’t be that too far-fetched.
"They say he works for the owners, so I guess if you look at that deal, I think he did a great job. That’s all I can pretty much say about it. That’s why he’s asking for that compensation. In his eyes, for the owners, they have the better deal of the CBA, the better deal going forward right now."
"Fifty million a year? That’s a healthy chunk of change right there. And you’ve got health insurance for the rest of your life. Why can’t we get health insurance for the rest of our lives? Or why can’t we get private jets? I guess it’s up to the owners to decide if he’s worth that or not. That’s some healthy demands right there.
"What do you need a private jet and health insurance for if you’re getting $50 million? To me, that makes no sense, but I guess it can’t hurt to ask for it."
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy
"He'll get how much: 5-0 annually? That means every year! 5-0 million. Shoot! Oh man. I might have to hug some of that money out of him. [McCoy infamously gave Goodell a giant hug in the 2010 draft and started a giant hugging spree.] I don't really have a comment on that. But I will say this: Fifty million dollars is a lot of money, whether you get it once or every year. That's a lot of money."
Buccaneers safety Chris Conte
"It seems like any CEO position in corporate America -- huge contracts that aren't really proportionate to everyone else. It seems kind of ridiculous to me but I guess it's the way that our league is and the way corporations are in this country.
"Hopefully there's more firepower for the NFLPA when the new CBA comes up. That's a big thing. Especially with players putting their health on the line, especially with all the information coming out about CTE and everything else, I think benefits for players to have health insurance throughout their lifespan, once they're done playing football, is something we really should consider as players and something that we fight for."