The Most Valuable NFL Teams

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

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 2022, this is how things stand in the league amongst the top 10 and bottom 10 teams.

1.) Dallas Cowboys: $7.64 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • 1-Year Change: 10%

  • Owner: Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys, also known as America's Team, have been in the NFL since 1960. Current owner Jerry Jones bought the team in 1989 from H.R. Bright for $140 million, equivalent to about $300 million today. They are one of the winningest franchises in all of football with five Super Bowls.

2.) Los Angeles Rams: $5.91 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 26%

  • Owner: Stan Korenke

The Los Angeles Rams moved up one spot from 3rd to second this year, and a large chunk of their valuation comes from their stadium. SoFi Stadium opened in September of 2020 and the stadium cost a whopping $4.9 billion.

3.) New England Patriots: $5.88 billion

Image credit: Forbes

  • 1-Year Change: 10%

  • Owner: Robert Kraft

Tied for the most Super Bowls all-time, the New England Patriots are one of the most elite football franchises the NFL has to offer. Current owner Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994 for $172 million dollars. There was once a time where Robert Kraft thought about moving the team to Connecticut, but with a near $6 billion evaluation i’m sure he’s content with staying in Foxborough.

4.) New York Giants: $5.37 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 24%

  • Owner: John Mara / Steve Tisch

The New York Giants are one of the oldest NFL franchises, with their inaugural season coming in 1925. They’ve enjoyed four Super Bowls, including two shocking victories over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The Giants currently play at MetLife Stadium and have since 2010.

5.) San Francisco 49ers: $5.18 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 21%

  • Owner: 49ers Enterprises

Although the 49ers may have only been in the NFL since 1950, they remain one of the most historic franchises. They have won five Super Bowls and dished out a number of hall of fame players such as Joe Montanna, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Terrell Owens just to name a few.

6.) Chicago Bears: $5 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 25%

  • Owner: Virginia Halas McCaskey

The Chicago Bears just eclipsed the century mark as a franchise, with their first season coming in 1920. The Bears are one of the most popular NFL franchises despite only claiming one Super Bowl across 100+ seasons.

7.) New York Jets: $4.8 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 18%

  • Owner: Woody and Christopher Johnson

Although the New York Jets only joined the NFL in 1970, they own the rights as Super Bowl III champions. Current owner Woody Johnson purchased the team in 2000 for a hefty $635 million. Although the Jets have seen minimal success over the years, they have one of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports.

8.) Washington Commanders: $4.78 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 12%

  • Owner: Daniel Snyder

The Washington Commanders were originally founded in 1932 and enjoyed a wave of success throughout the 80’s and early 90’s. They would win Super Bowls in 1982, 1987, and 1991. Dan Snyder purchased the team in 1999 and they have never been able to get back to that prior success.

9.) Philadelphia Eagles: $4.7 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 21%

  • Owner: Jeffrey Lurie

There are few fan bases as passionate as Eagles fans. The team was established in 1933 and saw relative success pre-NFL merger, winning three NFL Championship games. The Eagles have been to three Super Bowls, most recently winning in 2017.

10.) Denver Broncos: $4.65 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 22%

  • Owner: Rob Walton

The Denver Broncos saw a 22% increase in their valuation, and that number comes from the recent purchase from the Walton-Penner family. The Broncos were sold to the Walton-Penner family in 2022 for $4.65 billion, the most for a North American sport franchise ever.

11.) Houston Texans: $4.63 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 21%

  • Owner: Janice McNair

There is no franchise younger than the Houston Texans, who have been an NFL franchise since 2002 (I’m older than the Texans!) They were founded in 1999 and were owned by Bob McNair who tragically passed away in 2018. Despite being one of four teams to never make a Super Bowl, the Texans are doing just fine with a valuation north of $4.5 billion.

12.) Seattle Seahawks: $4.39 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 22%

  • Owner: The Paul Allen Trust

The Seattle Seahawks joined the NFL in 1976 and have been a relatively good team in recent memory. They enjoyed two trips to the Super Bowl, including a victory in Super Bowl XLVIII. Despite trading franchise quarterback Russell Wilson, the Seahawks are gearing up for the playoffs this postseason.

13.) Pittsburgh Steelers: $4.26 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 19%

  • Owner: Rooney Family

The Pittsburgh Steelers are tied with the Patriots for the winningest NFL franchise, with six total Super Bowls. The Rooney family has been the sole owners of the franchise since Art Rooney founded the team in 1933. It cost Rooney only $2,500 to purchase the franchise fee to create the team.

14.) Green Bay Packers: $4.19 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 19%

  • Owner: Green Bay Packers Inc.

The Packers are one of the original NFL teams and have one of the strangest ownership structures in professional sports. Fans can buy shares of the Packers when made available every couple of years. Owning a share gives you voting rights and an invitation to their annual corporate meeting.

15.) Las Vegas Raiders: $4.08 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 26%

  • Owner: Mark and Carol Davis

Although the Raiders jumped ship from Oakland to Las Vegas, they still have one of the most active fandoms in all of sports. The Davis family has owned the Raiders since purchasing it in 1966 for $180,000. Recently, the Raiders built Allegiant Stadium in Vegas which cost a reported $1.9 billion.

16.) Miami Dolphins: $4.06 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 15%

  • Owner: Stephen M. Ross

The Miami Dolphins have been an NFL franchise since 1966 and are home to one of the most famous football stadiums, Hard Rock Stadium. The team enjoyed a wave of success in the 70’s, winning back-to-back Super Bowls. Their 1972 campaign is the only undefeated season by a team to also win a Super Bowl.

17.) Atlanta Falcons: $3.88 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 18%

  • Owner: Arthur Blank

The Atlanta Falcons have been an NFL franchise since 1966, reaching two Super Bowls in that time. They remain one of twelve NFL teams to never win a Super Bowl. Most recently, they suffered a heart-wrenching defeat to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

18.) Minnesota Vikings: $3.72 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 18%

  • Owner: Zygi, Leonard, and Mark Wilf

The Minnesota Vikings have been an NFL team since 1961 and are currently owned by the Wilf family. Despite the Vikings three Super Bowl appearances throughout the 70’s, they have no Super Bowl to their name. With a new young core at the helm, the Vikings could hoist their first Lombardi trophy in the near future.

19.) Los Angeles Chargers: $3.62 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 21%

  • Owner: Dean Spanos

The Los Angeles Chargers, formerly the San Diego Chargers, joined the NFL during the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. The Chargers made their move to Los Angeles around the same time the Rams jumped ship from St.Louis. Since joining the NFL, the Chargers have a single Super Bowl appearance in 1994, which they lost.

20.) Kansas City Chiefs: $3.54 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • 1-Year Change: 15%

  • Owner: Hunt Family

It’s no understatement to say that the Kansas City Chiefs are currently in their golden era. After winning the Super Bowl in 1969, the Chiefs would go 50 years before winning again in 2019. With a core of Patrick Mahome and Travis Kelce, I have a feeling there are more Super Bowls in the Chiefs future.

21.) Baltimore Ravens: $3.44 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 11%

  • Owner: Steve Bisciotti

Despite only joining the NFL in 1996, the Baltimore Ravens are one of the most successful NFL franchises. They have compiled a record of 233-183-1 and have won two Super Bowls. Steve Bisciotti bought the team from Art Modell in 2003.

22.) Carolina Panthers: $3.36 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 13%

  • Owner: David Tepper

Although the Carolina Panthers joined the NFL a year prior to the Baltimore Ravens, they have not seen an equal amount of success. The Panthers have never won a Super Bowl despite appearing in two. They are currently going through a rebuilding process and a Super Bowl does not look to be in the Panthers' near future.

23.) Tennessee Titans: $3.29 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 23%

  • Owner: Amy Adams Strunk

The Tennessee Titans officially joined the NFL in 1970 apart of the NFL-AFL merger, but have been a franchise since 1960. They have reached the Super Bowl once, losing to the St.Louis Rams in 1999. They are owned by Amy Adams Strunk, the daughter of Houston Oilers founder Bud Adams.

24.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $3.28 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 18%

  • Owner: Glazer Family

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have joined the NFL in 1976, but have enjoyed more success than most teams. The Buc’s are 2-0 in the Super Bowl, winning in 2002 and 2020. They are currently captained by legendary quarterback Tom Brady, a large part of their 2020 Super Bowl campaign.

25.) New Orleans Saints: $3.26 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 16%

  • Owner: Gayle Benson

The Saints have had a rollercoaster of a ride as a franchise in the NFL. They initially struggled, not winning a playoff game until their 34th season in 2000. They did claim Super Bowl XLIV behind the sensational play of Drew Brees. Since Brees and head coach Sean Payton retired the franchise has had trouble finding direction.

26.) Indianapolis Colts: $3.25 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 15%

  • Owner: Jim Irsay

The Indianapolis Colts are one of the oldest franchises in the NFL, being founded in 1953. They have enjoyed success pre and post Super Bowl era’s, with over five championships. They won Super Bowls in 1970 as well as 2006. They are currently coached by former Colts lineman Jeff Saturday.

27.) Cleveland Browns: $3.18 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 17%

  • Owner: Jimmy and Dee Haslam

The Cleveland Browns began as a AAFC team and were dominant, boasting a 47-4-3 record across four seasons. When the league folded they joined the NFL and have not found the same success. They are one of four teams to never reach a Super Bowl and were the second team to compile a 0-16 record after their 2017 campaign.

28.) Arizona Cardinals: $3.17 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 18%

  • Owner: Michael Bidwill

There is no football franchise older than the Cardinals, first established in 1898. They would join the NFL in 1920, making them one of only two remaining original franchises. They have never won a Super Bowl despite reaching the championship game in 2008.

29.) Buffalo Bills: $2.99 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 20%

  • Owner: Terry and Kim Pegula

Despite a levy of success throughout the 90’s, the Buffalo Bills are one of twelve NFL teams to never win a Super Bowl. Most notably, they reached the championship game four consecutive times from 1990-1993, but came short in all four games. They are currently led by all-pro quarterback Josh Allen and remain one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl.

30.) Jacksonville Jaguars: $2.94 billion

Image credit: Getty Images

  • 1-Year Change: 11%

  • Owner: Shahid Khan

Despite being one of the youngest franchises in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars have enjoyed a good-bit of success in their short time. Since joining the NFL in 1996, the team has reached the playoffs seven times and even reached two AFC Championship games.

31.) Detroit Lions: $2.86 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 17%

  • Owner: Sheila Ford Hamp

The Detroit Lions are one of the most historic NFL teams, having joined the league in 1930. Despite being an early player in the NFL, the Lions have seen relatively no success since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. The Lions have only won a single playoff game since 1957 and have the longest postseason win drought in NFL history.

32.) Cincinnati Bengals: $2.84 billion

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  • 1-Year Change: 18%

  • Owner: Mike Brown

The Cincinnati Bengals went through a rough patch in the 90’s and 2000’s, but have built an exciting young core today. The Bengals have reached three Super Bowls despite never winning the game. They are currently led by a young core of Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase who helped carry the Bengals to an appearance in the 2021 Super Bowl.