NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell earned just over $34 million for 2014, according to the league's tax filing released Tuesday.
That total is actually down a bit from 2013 ($35 million) and 2012, when Goodell collected $44.2 million, including $9 million in bonuses and deferred pension.
The payments for 2014 — a difficult season for the league and the commissioner that involved high-profile player misconduct cases and a revamping of the NFL conduct policy — included a $26.5 million bonus negotiated the previous year.
Goodell came under heavy criticism in 2014 for his decisions in the Ray Rice case, and other incidents involving Adrian Peterson and Kevin Hardy drew headlines. While the public and the players' union questioned his ability to handle his duties, the 32 team owners have shown nothing but solid support for Goodell, who just finished his 10th season as commissioner.
Indeed, the league's revenues and popularity continue to rise, and the owners obviously compensate Goodell handsomely. He became commissioner in 2006.
By comparison, PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem made $11.2 million in 2014, with a one-time payoff on an incentive plan worth $3.7 million. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman's most recent public earnings were $9.6 million. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver makes about $10 million.
Former baseball commissioner Bud Selig made $30 million in 2014.
Colts to play Packers
The NFL announced that the Colts will play the Packers in the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 7.
A day before the league kicks off the preseason, the Hall of Fame will induct Packers quarterback Brett Favre, former Colts coach Tony Dungy and ex-Indianapolis receiver Marvin Harrison, along with five others who were elected earlier this month.
Other members of the Class of 2016 are owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., linebacker Kevin Greene, tackle Orlando Pace, quarterback Ken Stabler and guard Dick Stanfel.
•Reggie Rucker, who played with the Browns for seven of his 12 years in the NFL, withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars from the account of an inner-city Cleveland charity to satisfy Las Vegas gambling debts and to pay personal expenses, according to charges filed in federal court.
The charges against Rucker, 68, are contained in an information, which indicates Rucker agreed to plead guilty. Rucker played from 1970 to 1981. He's charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to an FBI agent. He is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 24.
•The Lions released running back Joique Bell, less than a year after he signed a two-year deal after his best season. Bell had nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage in 2013 and 2014. His role diminished in Detroit last year due to injuries and the emergence of Ameer Abdullah as a rookie and Theo Riddick as a pass-catching option out of the backfield. ... Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis retired. The 13-year NFL veteran said after last season he may not return to play in the final year of his contract in 2016 because he knew there was life after football.
•Steve Spagnuolo will be retained as the Giants' defensive coordinator under new coach Ben McAdoo.
•The Bears released offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod after he made just four starts in 12 games last season. Bushrod, 31, signed a five-year deal with Chicago in 2013 that included $17.7 million in guaranteed money.