by: Matthew Futterman
In a move that had been rumored for weeks, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced he will retire this summer after 16 years of building what is now the country's top sportsoperation.
In a statement released yesterday afternoon, Tagliabue said that after a year that included completing a new collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association and signing television deals worth nearly $30 billion for the next eight years, the time had come to turn over the reins...
...Industry experts said that through a decade and a half of leadership, Tagliabue brought the NFL into the modern era, building on the legacy of his predecessor, Pete Rozelle, who had
been a renowned showman...
..."Pete Rozelle saved this league, because no one knew where it was going when he took over," said Sal Galatioto, one of the country's top sports investment bankers. "But by any measure, Paul Tagliabue did an unbelievable job. The league took off under him to the point where it really is the No. 1 sport in America."...