Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Adam Silver was contacted about becoming NFL commissioner

Alex Reimer
November 17, 2017 - 10:29 am

The proverbial tug of war between Roger Goodell and Jerry Jones only appears to be intensifying. The Cowboys’ owner seems intent on obstructing Goodell’s nearly completed contract extension, even if it means moving towards all-out war with his fellow owners. 

Journalists Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. outline Jones’ efforts in an ESPN the Magazine feature story, detailing how hard Jones wants to push Goodell. In one phone call, Jones reportedly told the commissioner he was going to make Patriots owner Robert Kraft "look like a p****" compared to what he plans to do. Kraft chastised the league publicly for its handling of Deflategate, but never considered legal action. 

Jones’ plan, so far, has included lots of muscle flexing. He’s threatening to sue the league over the surreptitious way the compensation committee has handled Goodell’s negotiations, despite voting to permit the extension last spring. Earlier this month, Falcons owner Arthur Blank removed Jones as an ad-hoc member of the committee. Some owners have also discussed expelling Jones, per Pro Football Talk, which Jones laughed off on his radio show this week. 

One of the hurdles when it comes to replacing Goodell is the lack of an heir apparent. Though some owners have reportedly rallied behind Jones, the idea of the egotistic billionaire handpicking his own commissioner is unpopular. That means Jones’ allies have been forced to get creative. According to Wickersham and Van Natta, a confidante of one owner reached out to NBA commissioner Adam Silver to see if he would be interested in running the NFL. Silver, who’s wildly popular in NBA circles, reportedly declined. 

While the NFL remains the most prosperous sports league in the country, its domination is waning. The league has been plagued with endless scandals, ranging from domestic violence to concussions. The NFL is also seeing its television ratings fall for the second consecutive season, which is a tremendous source of concern for ownership. 

With that in mind, it’s not a surprise Silver doesn’t have interest in the job. Jones has succeeded in derailing Goodell’s extension, but without a replacement in mind, his efforts will likely wind up being futile.