1) The CBA.
2) The rookie pay structure.
3) Poor officiating.
4) The Brady Rule and most attempts to protect QBs at the expense of playing the game.
5) The misguided notion of expanding to 18 games.
6) Expensive stadiums, debt loads and PSLs that change the fan base at games.
7) Flex game scheduling that punishes the premium NFL viewer- the fan who purchases a ticket to the game.
Goodell may think he is doing a good job, but his lack of leadership is hurting the NFL. What do all of these things mentioned here have in common? MONEY. This is the same road MLB went down a long time ago. Money won and MLB lost. Death by a thousand cuts. When owners make decisions for more money at the expense of quality, the game suffers.
The rookie pay structure may not be the NFL’s fault (unlike the other 6 items mentioned), but they need to correct it, or else it will continue to foster a weakened underclass of teams that pay too much for the elite draft choice, unnecessarily and adversely killing their cap and longer range competitiveness.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE COMMISSIONER? Is it to be the unified voice of the owners, or is it also the unified voice of a successful league? The combination of strong owners bullying a weak commissioner is a recipe for disaster. Owners are selfish, and in capitalism that is always there. But this is yet another manifestation of the prisoner's dilemma, where the commissioner has to weigh the interests of some owners advocating for money versus the interests of the competitiveness and quality of the league. The commissioner is uniquely situated to make sure that 32 teams do not undercut one another and assure that collectively they seek a stronger solution to protect the longer term issues of their brand.
Roselle would be turning in his grave. Wake up Goodell and start protecting the game. Suggestion- visit the Masters and see how they protect and build value in their brand.