Owners’ bizarre decision to make Goodell a seven-year lame duck is a mess

As if the NFL didn’t have enough problems, it now has a lame-duck commissioner.

In effect, Roger Goodell became a lame duck Wednesday in Dallas when NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart announced Goodell will leave the league when his five-year extension expires after the 2023 season.

And Lockhart said, according to Pro Football Talk, that Goodell will get no post-retirement payments after he leaves, and while he can continue to use the league’s plane service, Goodell will pay for the reduced rates as he does now for private travel.

Lockhart also said that Goodell’s new contract is performance-based and that “some owners will have some involvement in the oversight as we look at these things (like the CBA and TV deals) in the next seven years.’’

In effect, they’ve also clipped Goodell’s wings, with some owners (Jerry Jones?) having oversight.

But making Goodell a seven-year lame duck makes no sense. Don’t the owners know that presidents rarely have good second terms because they are lame ducks as soon as they are re-elected?

And if they have a Hurricane Katrina in their second term – and Goodell has had several on his watch — they limp to the end of their presidency the way George W. Bush did.

And knowing Goodell is a lame duck, do some staffers start looking for new jobs?

The owners also used an unidentified “independent consultant” to help determine Goodell’s compensation, a virtual admission they had given Goodell sweetheart deals in the past.

Even more bizarre was the announcement that Goodell will spend a “significant amount of time working on succession.’’

How is that going to work?

Are they going to trust Goodell’s judgment on picking a successor?

And when do they start seriously looking for a successor? And what happens if they find one with three years left in Goodell’s term and feel they have to get him because he has other offers?

Do they then give Goodell a buyout and send him on his way?

So many questions, so few answers.

Since the owners have decided to send Goodell packing seven years from now, why wait that long?

They could have started their search for a replacement immediately and have a new voice for the next round of CBA and TV talks.

Goodell did crush the players back in 2011 after the lockout, but it will be more difficult for Goodell to negotiate as a lame duck when he’s spent the last several years alienating the players.

And how much power will he have in the negotiations with the owners providing “oversight’’?

The owners have started to turn the page on Goodell’s reign. But why are they waiting so long to complete the process?

The NFL is desperate in need of new leadership.

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