GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers reported a profit of just $724,000 in their latest fiscal year, which included their second straight season without a playoff appearance, a large contract extension for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and change in head coach from Mike McCarthy to Matt LaFleur.
Green Bay’s profit in the year ending March 31 was down 97.9% from $34.1 million in the year ending March 2018 and more than 99% from the record $75 million in the previous fiscal year.
“From a financial standpoint, it was a unique year for the Packers,” Packers President Mark Murphy said Friday.
Expenses rose from $420.9 million to $477.2 million, boosted by Rodgers’ $134 million, four-year deal and the contracts for several free agents: outside linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, safety Adrian Amos and guard Billy Turner.
“We were a little more aggressive than we’ve been in a number of years,” Murphy said.
While overall revenue increased 5.1% to $477.9 million, local revenue improved by only 2.3%, hurt by consecutive losing seasons that impacted Pro Shop visits and tours of Lambeau Field and the Packers Hall of Fame.
“If we can get back to the playoffs and get to the Super Bowl, that always helps,” Murphy said. “We have a policy regarding our season-ticket pricing. We want to be just below the league average. We don’t want everything to be on the backs of our season ticketholders.”
The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement is set to expire after the 2020 season and the team has $397 million in its corporate reserve fund.
“The plan was that we had enough money to cover expenses for a year. I think we’re in very good shape with that,” Murphy said. “We don’t have a rich, deep-pocketed owner, so we have a $400 million corporate reserve. Three or four years ago, we put $50 million into the corporate reserve. It’s grown since then with investment returns and we’ve made significant investments in real estate around this area.”
New York Jets
New York Jets second-year tight end Chris Herndon was suspended without pay by the NFL on Friday for the first four regular-season games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Herndon pleaded guilty in January to driving while intoxicated in New Jersey in June 2018. The incident occurred about a month after he was selected by the Jets in the fourth round of the NFL draft out of Miami.
Herndon is eligible to participate in offseason and preseason practices and games. He can return to the Jets’ active roster on Oct. 7. Herndon could still appeal the NFL’s decision in an attempt to get the suspension reduced.
New Jersey State Police said Herndon was driving his Nissan Armada when he crashed into a Toyota Land Cruiser that was towing a trailer carrying another vehicle. When troopers arrived, they arrested Herndon on suspicion of DWI and took him to a nearby state police barracks for an alcohol breath test. The test revealed a blood-alcohol level over New Jersey’s limit of .08, according to State Police Sgt. Lawrence Peele.
Neither Herndon nor the 76-year-old driver was seriously injured. NFL Network reported that a woman who was at the scene later claimed she was injured and that contributed to the suspension being longer than the typical two games for a first-time offender. Commissioner Roger Goodell can dole out additional discipline when determining suspensions if he determines there were aggravating circumstances involved.
A municipal judge in Rockaway Township, New Jersey, suspended Herndon’s driver’s license for 90 days in January and fined him $639.
The loss of Herndon for four games is a big blow to the Jets, who expect the tight end to be a major part of the offense this season. He finished with 39 receptions for 502 yards and four touchdowns, including catching passes for scores in three straight games.
New York currently also has veterans Eric Tomlinson and Daniel Brown and fourth-round pick Trevon Wesco at tight end, but all three are known mainly for their blocking skills. The Jets could look to add a pass-catching tight end during training camp to fill in for Herndon at the beginning of the regular season.
Oakland Raiders guard Richie Incognito has been suspended without pay by the NFL for the first two games of the regular season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Incognito pleaded guilty in April to disorderly conduct in Scottsdale, Arizona, after being accused of threatening employees at a funeral home where his father’s body was being held.
The Raiders signed Incognito in May. He sat out last season in retirement.
The 36-year-old Incognito has played 11 years in the NFL, making the Pro Bowl four times. He is a leading contender to start at left guard in Oakland.
But he has also been suspended for bullying former Miami teammate Jonathan Martin, allegedly made racist slurs to an opponent during a playoff game in January 2018 and has had two run-ins with police since he retired following the 2017 season.
Incognito is eligible to participate in offseason and preseason practices and games. He may return to the Raiders’ active roster on Sept. 16.