WASHINGTON — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has had his differences with the Washington Redskins, most notably penalizing the team for dumping expensive salaries into the 2010 uncapped season.
Never mind that the league approved all renegotiated contracts. Never mind that the Redskins could not have outspent a budget cap that didn’t exist. Never mind that the penalties suggested collusion against the players. Roger Goodell and the NFL took issue with the Redskins’ handling of the situation and the rest was history.
That was seven years ago, but you can be sure that team owner Daniel Snyder and president Bruce Allen haven’t forgotten. So what would Goodell’s advice be for a player like Jonathan Allen who is about to start his professional career with the team?
According to the video diary posted on NFL.com, his advice was simple, generic and positive about the Redskins. The moment happened after Allen descended from the NFL Draft green room, accepted his Redskins jersey and enthusiastically shook Goodell’s hand.
As Goodell pulled Allen in for the hug, this was the exchange on the video:
Goodell: “This is a great franchise. If you need something, let me know.”
Allen: “Yes sir.”
For conspiracy theorists, it’s reasonable to note that it’s impossible to see Goodell’s mouth move, so the message could have been re-dubbed after the fact.
More than likely, however, any lingering feelings of bitterness are held by the Redskins, not the commissioner. Goodell got his way, upheld his rules and enforced his punishment. Why should he be upset?
In addition, he’s right: the Redskins are one of his top performing franchises in terms of annual revenue. Regardless of how the team performs on the field, it continues to make tremendous amounts of money for the 32 owners and league as a whole.
The Redskins are the 5th most valuable franchise, trailing only the Cowboys, Patriots, Giants and 49ers. In terms of annual revenue, they rank third, trailing only the Patriots and Cowboys. They were also third in home attendance last season, trailing only the Cowboys and Giants with 626,432 fans buying tickets to FedExField.
With those numbers in mind, Goodell is absolutely right: this is a great franchise. Just don’t let him know if you need to free up cap space.