By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — A few years back, word on the street was that Roger Goodell was very, very bothered by the fact that a Patriots assistant coach had the audacity to wear a T-shirt depicting the NFL commissioner with a clown nose.

READ MORE: Swayman's 42 Saves Leads Bruins Over Predators 2-0

Well, Roger’s not going to like this one.

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, some actual NFL owners might have actually agreed with the concept of that clown T-shirt, because “several NFL owners have tried to persuade [Adam] Silver to run their league over the course of his five years as the NBA’s commissioner.”

Ouch. That one might sting.

Silver, the NBA’s commissioner since 2014, didn’t confirm or deny those rumors to ESPN, saying only, “I’ll just say I have not given it any thought.”

READ MORE: Boston Police Warn About Drinks Being Drugged At Bars

While the NFL under Goodell has experienced significant growth in numerous areas — namely, revenue — during his tenure as commissioner, Goodell himself has not become a nationally beloved figure. Silver, on the contrary, has received near-universal praise for the work he’s done after succeeding David Stern.

Shelburne noted that her ESPN colleagues Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. did report in 2017 that a “confidant of one owner reached out” to Silver to ask if he’d be interested in running the NFL; Silver said no. But the new report indicates that multiple owners actively tried to convince Silver that he should change his mind.

Silver stuck with the NBA, and so the NFL stuck with Goodell, giving him a five-year contract that will pay him up to $200 million.

In that sense, Goodell won big. He’ll forever be a very rich man.

MORE NEWS: 9,909 At Massachusetts Schools Test Positive For COVID-19 In Last 2 Weeks

But money can’t buy adoration, love, and respect. And clearly, no matter how much money they’re paying him, some NFL owners would just prefer to see someone better doing the job.