The Most Valuable NFL Teams

The pandemic threatened to force the NFL to take a step back for a while in terms of finances, but 2021 showed it was only so that the league could take a running jump to one of their most successful years in a while.

In March of 2021, the NFL signed a media rights deal worth a staggering $111.8 billion, which was an 82% increase from then-deals. This means that from now until 2032 when the deal ends, pay-out for each of the 32 NFL teams is going to increase from around $220 billion to around $377 billion.

In the next decade, it’ll be interesting to see how team valuations change around this period. As of right now though, this is how things stand in the league amongst the top 10 and bottom 10 teams.

1. Dallas Cowboys, $8 Billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Jerry Jones

No surprise here. The Dallas Cowboys have been the most valuable team in the league since the late 2000s and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future. They generate around $800 million in revenue annually and are the only team worth over $7 billion.

2. New England Patriots, $6.4 Billion

Image credit: Forbes

  • Owner: Robert Kraft

The Patriots are not only the second most valuable team in the NFL, but they’re one of the most valuable sports franchises on the planet. The team still benefits from the Brady-Belichick era.

3. Los Angeles Rams, $6.2 Billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Stanley Kroenke

On average, teams were worth 14% more in 2021 than they were in 2020, but the Rams smash that with a 20% increase. Since moving back to Los Angeles from St. Louis, Missouri, the team’s value has shot up and will likely continue to do so annually.

Their value may continue to increase now that they are officially Super Bowl winners, taking home the title in 2022.

4. New York Giants, $6 Billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owners: John Mara and Steven Tisch

The Giants have an operating income of -$12.5 million and recent times haven’t been too kind to them, but they have one of the best histories of any team in the NFL and are a New York team, which keeps them in a podium spot.

5. Chicago Bears $5.8 Billion

Image credit: Bears Wire - USA Today

  • Owner: Virginia Halas McCaskey

The Bears are helped by the fact that Chicago is the third-largest media market in the entirety of the United States. In 2019, Virginia Halas McCaskey became the longest-tenured owner in the league, despite the McCaskey family being voted the third worst NFL owners in 2009 by Yahoo! Sports.

6. Washington Commanders, $5.6 Billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Daniel Snyder

Since 2020, the Washington Football Team has been going through somewhat of a restructure, including but not limited to their famous name change. To maintain an operating income of $25 million and increase in value 7% above the league’s average despite this is commendable.

7. New York Jets, $5.4 Billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owners: Woody Johnson and Christopher Johnson

The Jets’ struggles since the early to mid-2010s have been well documented, but they don’t fall too far behind fellow New York team the Giants every year regardless of this. This is largely due to the massive media market that New York is, plus its dedicated fanbase.

8. San Francisco 49ers, $5.2 Billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owners: Denise DeBartolo York and John York

The San Francisco 49ers’ valuation increased just 10% in a year, which is the lowest of any team in the league, matched only with the Las Vegas Raiders. They also have the second-lowest operating income in the league, at -$45.4 million, in front of only the Chargers.

9. Las Vegas Raiders, $5.1 Billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Mark Davis

The Raiders' valuation has increased by 114% over the last five years, in large part due to their move from Oakland to Las Vegas. While the Raiders were a cultural institution in Oakland, a posh new stadium in Vegas has been a boon for the franchise.

10. Philadelphia Eagles, $4.9 Billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Jeffrey Lurie

The Philadelphia Eagles’ ranking on this list shouldn’t be surprising to those that are aware of just how passionate their fanbase is. Win or lose, the fans are there packing out stadiums, which is a massive financial help in the long run. They have an operating income of -$25.9 million.

11. Houston Texans, $4.7 Billion

Image credit: Getty Images

Everything is bigger in Texas, especially NFL team valuations. Despite a lack of historical success since the team was founded in 2002, Houston is a football-crazy city with the sixth-largest population in the country.

12. Denver Broncos, $4.65 Billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Rob Walton

The most recent NFL team to switch hands, the Broncos were purchased by Walmart scion Rob Walton last spring. Sold for $4.65 billion, the Broncos garnered the highest price of any team ever.

13. Miami Dolphins, $4.6 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Stephen Ross

Since real estate developer Stephen Ross purchased the Dolphins for just over $1 billion in 2009, his investment has increased four-fold. While the team has seen suffered through some turbulence lately between discrimination and tampering investigations, Miami is off to a strong start this season as they pursue their first playoff appearance since 2016.

14. Seattle Seahawks, $4.5 Billion

Image credit: Getty Images

Owner: Paul G. Allen Trust

Perhaps the next NFL team to hit the market, the Seahawks will return a pretty penny for Jodie Allen, the sister of the late Paul Allen. Known as the 12s, Seahawks fans are some of the league's rowdiest and will support their team in droves no matter who owns the franchise.

15. Green Bay Packers, $4.25 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Shareholders

As the only team without a controlling owner, the Packers are an oddity amongst not just the NFL, but all of American sports. In the 1980s, the NFL instituted a rule that a team can have no more than 32 partial owners and that one person must own at least 30% of the team, but the Packers were grandfathered in. This unique ownership structure with the 5,011,558 shares divided amongst 537,460 stockholders has allowed the Packers to remain in Green Bay and not be wooed by promises of bigger profits in a bigger market. In a perfect world, every team would be like this.

16. Atlanta Falcons, $4 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Arthur Blank

The Falcons may struggle on the field, but owner Arthur Blank is making a killing off of it. While the Falcons are the most popular football team in the South, they have to share the spotlight with college football, which dominates the region. If the Falcons could gin up the same level of fervor and success as the University of Georgia, they could soar up these rankings.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers, $3.98 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Daniel Rooney Trust, Arthur Rooney II

The Rooney family has owned the Steelers for 89 years, purchasing the team in 1933 for a measly $2,500. Since then, the Steelers have turned into one of the NFL's premier franchises have won six Super Bowls, tied with the Patriots for the most of all time.

18. Minnesota Vikings, $3.93 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Zygi Wilf

Founded in 1961, the Vikings have been successful in just every way a team can be successful, besides the fact that they've never won the Super Bowl. Their 524-451-11 all-time record makes them the only team with a winning record but no titles and they're one of only three teams to appear in the conference championship game in every decade since the 1970s.

19. Baltimore Ravens, $3.9 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

Owner: Stephen Bisciotti

With a valuation of nearly $4 billion, the Ravens have plenty of money to break off a piece of that to give to Lamar Jackson, their superstar quarterback who will be a free agent this offseason.

20. Los Angeles Chargers, $3.88 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Dean Spanos

Moving to Los Angeles from San Diego was a somewhat controversial decision from the Chargers, which put them in heat with other owners and even L.A. residents. Since then, it doesn’t seem like the move has quite paid off, with the team struggling to draw fans. This leaves them with a valuation that falls short of $4 billion and an operating income of -$48.7 million, the lowest in the league.

21. Cleveland Browns, $3.85 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Dee Haslam and Jimmy Haslam

Browns fans suffer from the cliché of being the unluckiest in the league, but they’re in front of a few teams on this list, which is a win itself. Recent years have been good compared to what we're accustomed to, but some drastic changes need to be made so that the team can make the playoffs consistently. Their valuation has grown by 97% over the last five years.

22. Indianapolis Colts, $3.8 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Jim Irsay

In recent years, the Colts have fallen on tough times but from 1998-2018, they enjoyed 20 nearly uninterrupted seasons of all-time great quarterback play. The Irsay family has owned the Colts since 1972 when they played in Baltimore and famously relocated them to Indianapolis in the dead of night.

23. Kansas City Chiefs, $3.7 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

Owner: Hunt family

With Patrick Mahomes at the helm, the Chiefs are in the midst of their greatest stretch in franchise history, winning their first Super Bowl in 2019. Similarly, they've been successful off the field, with their valuation skyrocketing 76% since Mahomes took over the starting job five years ago.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $3.68 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

Like the Chiefs, the Buccaneers have enjoyed the financial boon of having a superstar quarterback. When Tom Brady decamped to Tampa from Boston in 2020, he brought a massive windfall to the Glazers, who have owned the Buccaneers since 1995. The Buc's valuation has shot up 86% since 2017, with the lion share of that growth occurring over the last three years.

25. Carolina Panthers, $3.6 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: David Tepper

In the years since David Tepper bought the Carolina Panthers for a record $2.3 billion, their valuation has increased to $3.6 billion billion, which is a lot of money by regular standards, but perhaps disappointing relative to the rest of the league. The team averaged less than 18 points per game last season and has been just as bad this season, although hopefully a new coach can turn the team around next year.

26. New Orleans Saints, $3.58 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Gayle Benson

The Saints’ coaching staff saw some changes last off-season with Dennis Allen being promoted to Head Coach following the departure of Sean Payton, but the fans are still looking to recapture that magic from 2009 when the team won the Super Bowl in their sole appearance. They have an operating income of -$15.7 million.

27. Tennessee Titans, $3.5 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Amy Adams Strunk

Since 2016, the Tennessee Titans have had a winning season every season, but they’ve still only made the Super Bowl once, in 1999. This isn’t inspiring and results in a valuation of $3.5 billion with an operating income of -$12 million.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars, $3.48 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Shahid Khan

The Jaguars are still one of the few NFL franchises that has never played in the Super Bowl, but their future looks bright right now as they look to turn turn things around with Trevor Lawrence as their potential franchise QB. The good news is that the Florida team has an operating income of $68.8 million, the third-highest in the league behind the Cowboys and the Patriots.

29. Buffalo Bills, $3.4 billion

Image credit: Ann Arbor News

  • Owner: Terry Pegula and Kim Pegula

Since the Pegulas bought the team in 2014, the Bills have seen their valuation soar by more than $2 billion, once again proving the value of a franchise quarterback. Still, their valuation falls well below the NFL’s average, with the Cowboys easily doubling up their valuation.

30. Arizona Cardinals, $3.27 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Michael Bidwill

The Cardinals are in one of their better runs in recent memory, but it won’t be enough to end their drought of 74 straight seasons since a league championship or Super Bowl win. Their valuation isn’t surprising considering this.

31. Detroit Lions, $3.05 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Owner: Sheila Ford Hamp

The Detroit Lions have the longest playoff win drought in the league, winning only a single playoff game since 1991. Detroit is a great fanbase, but that’s not enough to get them outside of the bottom 3 this year with a valuation of just $3.05 billion.

32. Cincinnati Bengals

Image credit: Getty Images

  • Valuation: $2.275 billion

  • Owner: Michael Brown

The Bengals are the only team in the AFC to never win a championship in the AFL or NFL and one of the few teams to have never won a championship pre or post-Super Bowl era. They have a valuation of $3 billion, but that's only $5 million behind the team in last place. Coming off an appearance in the Super Bowl this year, this valuation could possibly start to rise.