USA Today's Michael McCarthy reports that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will take a pay freeze in 2009 and cut his total compensation for 2008 by 20%-25%, USA TODAY has learned.
As part of a league-wide salary freeze for all NFL employees, Goodell is freezing his current annual compensation of $11 million for upcoming fiscal 2009 even though his contract entitles him to an automatic pay raise, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed Thursday.
The commissioner, 49, will also take a 20%-25% cut in his salary and bonuses for fiscal 2008, which ends March 31. Goodell is freezing his salary for 2009 and taking the pay cut for 2008 as part of a league drive to cut costs in the current economic recession.
"The commissioner believes it will take a collective sacrifice of everyone to get through this difficult economic environment," McCarthy says.
Goodell's compensation package makes him the second highest-paid U.S. sports commissioner.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's salary climbed 22% to $18.35 million for the league's fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2007, according to Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal.
NBA Commissioner David Stern makes approximately $10 million annually, while NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman earns $5.59 million, according to the magazine.
Goodell's $11 million income would not rank among the top 25 NFL players salaries for the 2008 season. Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers ranked No. 1 at $27.7 million; Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings was No. 2 at $21.1 million; and Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals was No. 3 at $17 million.
The NFL is reducing its staff of 1,100 by 10%-15% at its New York headquarters, NFL Network and NFL Films. That will likely mean a reduction of around 150 staffers.