The NFL filed its tax returns on Tuesday, which means we all get to find out just much money Roger Goodell made to serve as league commissioner and public punching bag for the 32 team owners. According to Sports Business Journal, Goodell earned $34.1 million from the NFL in 2014.
Goodell had a $3.5 million base salary. He also received a bonus of $26.5 million, pension payments and other deferred benefits totaling $3.7 million and another $273,000 in "other reportable compensation," according to ESPN.
Since being named NFL commissioner nine years ago, Goodell, 57, has earned a total of $180.5 million in salary.
Goodell's 2014 bonus was determined by the NFL owners compensation committee in 2013, prior to the Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson scandals.
Rice was initially suspended by the NFL for two games after he was arrested and charged with simple assault. A video that was leaked to the public by TMZ showed Rice dragging an unconscious woman, his then-fiancée Janay Palmer, from an elevator. Additional video later surfaced that showed Rice punching Palmer, now his wife, in the elevator and knocking her unconscious. After that video was released, the Ravens terminated Rice's contract and Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely.
Hardy, then a star defensive player for the Carolina Panthers, was charged with assaulting a female and communicating threats after an altercation with his then-girlfriend, Nicole Holder. Hardy reportedly put his hands around Holder's neck and threatened to kill her, then threw her on a futon covered with guns. Hardy was initially found guilty in a bench trial, a sentence that was overturned on appeal. Hardy was initially suspended for 10 games by the league for "conduct detrimental to the league," but his suspension was reduced to four games by an arbitrator.
Peterson was suspended indefinitely by the league for an "incident of abusive discipline" as it was described by the league toward his 4-year-old son. Peterson plead guilty to misdemeanor reckless assault for the incident. The NFLPA filed a grievance on Peterson's behalf and the suspension was overturned.
Those scandals brought the league under public scrutiny, and the brunt of it was borne by Goodell. The league and Goodell continue to come under fire for the handling of the lasting impact of head injuries for current and former players. In October 2014, it was suggested by Falcons owner Arthur Blank that Goodell could see a pay cut in coming years.
However, under Goodell's leadership, the league has continued to become more profitable. Over the past year the NFL made more than $13 billion, a $1 billion increase from the year before.
Goodell's income in 2014 was in line with what he earned the year before, when he made $35.1 million. His payout in 2012 was $44.2 million.
The next highest-paid figure in the NFL was general counsel Jeff Pash, who earned $7.5 million in 2013. The return also shows league office revenues for 2014 were $618.97 million, which was a dramatic increase over the $294 million in revenues the league office posted in 2013.
The NFL's tax returns are public due to its non-profit status. Last year, however, the league changed its status to taxable, meaning the league will no longer be required to publicly disclose these figures.