|Goodell should be all smiles with his new five-year extension. (Getty Images)|
Football is more popular than ever and Commissioner Roger Goodell deserves a lot of the credit for that. The owners apparently believe so too, as they extended Goodell's contract for five more years, through March of 2019.
The news, as first reported by Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal, means that Goodell will remain the NFL's commissioner through the 2018 season.
"It is a privilege for me to serve the NFL," Goodell said in a statement. "It is the only place I have ever wanted to work. I am grateful for the contributions and counsel of NFL owners in managing our league, the talented staff that supports us, and the players and coaches that perform their magic on the field. It is truly a team effort. I am eagerly looking ahead to the challenge of building on our momentum and doing all we can to improve our game for the fans and everyone that is part of our league."
Goodell took over for Paul Tagliabue in 2006 and his original five-year contract was extended in 2009 through 2014.
"I speak on behalf of 32 NFL club owners in saying we are fortunate to have Roger Goodell as our commissioner," Falcons owner and Chairman of the Competition Committee Arthur Blank said. "Since becoming commissioner in 2006, the NFL -- already the leader in professional sports -- has gotten even stronger. As evidenced by this contract extension, we have great confidence in Roger's vision and leadership of the NFL. Our clubs, players and fans could not ask for a better CEO."
Highlights of Goodell's tenure include a 10-year labor agreement, a rise in popularity of the NFL, a new merchandise agreement with Nike that begins in 2012, bananas television ratings, and new television contracts. Additionally, the league has placed an emphasis on player safety and expanded the league's popularity to Europe.
"I speak on behalf of 32 NFL club owners in saying we are fortunate to have Roger Goodell as our commissioner," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement, via Breer.
The NFL, despite suffering through a lengthy lockout in the offseason, had one of the most successful years in league history in 2011. There's little question that professional football will continue to grow and Goodell, who's been a major part of the NFL's success over the past half decade, will continue to help it do so.
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