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Paul Tagliabue is leaving the NFL, and he's leaving it both peaceful and prosperous.
The 65-year-old commissioner will step down in July after 16 years, his tenure marked by labor harmony and unprecedented riches through television deals.
Tagliabue has been in charge since 1989, when he succeeded Pete Rozelle, and agreed last March to stay to complete the TV deal and a long-term contract with players.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice officially turned her back on Wednesday on her dream job -- commissioner of the National Football League.
"Unfortunately it came open at the wrong time," said Rice, an avid fan of pro football and especially the Cleveland Browns.
Rice, who has served President George W. Bush first as national security adviser and now as secretary of state, has often fended off questions about a potential run for the U.S. presidency by saying she would prefer to be NFL commissioner.
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said he was privately approached about his interest in becoming the NFL's next commissioner.