Goodell gets new 5-year contract
NEW YORK — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has been given a new five-year contract as the league heads into a key period of labor negotiations that could lead to a work stoppage in 2011.
Goodell replaced Paul Tagliabue on Sept. 1, 2006, and his contract was due to expire this September. The NFL said yesterday that owners voted to award the new contract when they met in December, and his new deal runs until March 2015.
"We're going into a major negotiation. It will be very difficult probably in many ways and we want to have someone who has his own views, who's going to have to make some hard decisions that maybe some of us won't like," New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said during a telephone interview.
"But in the end, I think we're confident that he and his team will do what's for the best long-term interest of the league," said Kraft, a member of the league's compensation committee. "Having stability in our management team is critical."
Next season, the last in the current agreement, is on track to be played without a salary cap. NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said last week the union views the chance of a lockout as a "14" on a scale of 1-to-10. That would end a streak of labor peace since the 1987 strike led to the cancellation of 14 games and three weeks of play with replacement players.
WIDE RECEIVER JONES AGREES TO 1-YEAR DEAL
Troubled receiver Matt Jones agreed to a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday, said a source familiar with the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity because no contract has been signed.
The 26-year-old receiver would be the latest player to try to revive his career in Cincinnati after repeated problems with the law. Jones didn't play in the NFL last year, after Jacksonville released him because of his off-field issues.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that his one-year deal would pay him approximately $700,000.
PORTER'S RELEASE WAS 'INVALID TERMINATION'
Joey Porter's widely anticipated parting with the Miami Dolphins took a bizarre twist yesterday.
The Dolphins announced the release of the disgruntled linebacker. Less than three hours later, they said the move was "determined to be an invalid termination. Therefore at this time, Porter reverts back to the Miami Dolphins roster."
The Dolphins declined to elaborate, as did the NFL.
"It's a club matter," league spokesman Greg Aiello said. Porter's agent didn't respond to phone messages. The hitch may have involved NFL salary-cap rules, and Porter is still expected to be released or traded in the next few weeks.
A four-time Pro Bowl linebacker named in January to the NFL's All-Decade team, Porter campaigned last week to be waived. In broadcast interviews he said he was frustrated about his reduced role in 2009 and doubted his relationship with coach Tony Sparano could be repaired.