March 21, 2006
Tagliabue to retire

NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue is going to retire in July.

The 65-year-old commissioner has led the league since 1989, when he succeeded Pete Rozelle, and had recently signed a two-year contract extension to complete the television and labor deals.

He finally got that done 12 days ago, finishing the most arduous labor negotiations since the league and union agreed on a free agency-salary cap deal in 1992.

"I believe that now is a positive time to make the transition to a new commissioner," Tagliabue said in a statement.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported on March 9 that Tagliabue was expected to exercise a clause in his contract with league owners in which he becomes a "senior executive" consultant with a significant compensation package. Tagliabue and the NFL did not comment at the time.

Tagliabue will be available to serve in a senior executive/advisory role through May 31, 2008 once a new commissioner is selected.

Roger Goodell, the NFL's chief operating officer, and Atlanta general manager Rich McKay are the two leading candidates to succeed Tagliabue. Baltimore Ravens president Dick Cass is considered a dark horse.

The NFL has done very well under Tags' watch, and that includes their recovery from the 1982 work stoppage, which (thanks in part to a weaker players' union than that of MLB) has generally avoided labor strife since then. Whoever gets to follow him will have big shoes to fill.

Stina suggests a possible replacement: Condoleeza Rice. That would be...interesting. I can only wonder what her response would be if she came to feel that the NFL may someday be threatened by another league.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 21, 2006 to Other sports | TrackBack

Stina suggests a possible replacement: Condoleeza Rice. That would be...interesting.

Hey; anything to get her out of the Bush administration.

Posted by: Mathwiz on March 21, 2006 3:34 PM