The Most Valuable NFL Teams
Owning an NFL team is something most of us don't think about on a daily basis, mainly because they are worth so much money that an average person could never even dream about owning one. However, have you ever stopped and wondered how much each NFL team is actually worth? It's probably a lot more than you think, NFL teams are constantly growing in value year over year, especially when a team begins to show promise or drafts the next big star. Scroll through this list and find out just how valuable these NFL teams really are.
The Buffalo Bills ended a nearly 3-decade drought by winning the AFC East in 2020. Today, they’re valued at $2.27 billion, which makes them the least valuable team in the NFL. Team owners, Terry and Kim Pegula, purchased the Bills for $1.4 billion in 2014, so the team’s value has increased since then, as has its success.
They secured a 10-year naming rights deal with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, a health insurer, so starting from last year's season, the team’s stadium became known as the Highmark Stadium. Unfortunately, even though the Bills have made it to the Super Bowl 4 times, they have yet to secure any championships.
The Cincinnati Bengals had a historical season this year that saw them advance to the Super Bowl before losing to the Los Angeles Rams, yet just going to the Super Bowl was a huge achievement for the franchise. The Bengals are still valued at $2.275 billion, not bad for the second least valuable NFL team.
Team owner, Michael Brown and head coach Zac Taylor have assembled a payroll that is in the NFL’s top half despite having poor attendance at their Paul Brown Stadium before the pandemic. Like every other NFL team, the Bengals lost $7.5 million in settlement for the Rams’ relocation.
The Detroit Lions were valued at $2.4 billion in 2021, a significant increase in value from the $4.5 million Martha Firestone Ford paid for it in 1964. Their roster and management have undergone notable changes since Sheila Ford Hamp became the team’s principal chairman and owner.
Former coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn have both been replaced, and former franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford has been traded. The Thanksgiving Day football game was actually started by the Detroit Lions in 1934, and besides a gap in the late 30s to mid-40s, they have played during every holiday season.
The Cleveland Browns are owned by Dee and Jimmy Haslam, and they are valued at $2.6 billion. The Browns have won a total of 8 championships, but it took a herculean effort from coach Kevin Stefanski to make the Browns a winning team in 2020, and secure their first playoff berth in decades.
Despite those bad times, the Browns have amassed lifelong fans over the years that have stuck with the team during the good and bad seasons. The team’s value has increased 57% in the last five years alone, and it looks poised for more growth.
The Tennesse Titans have a franchise value of $2.6 billion, a 14% increase from 2020. Team owner, Amy Adams Strunk must have been impressed by coach Mike Vrabel’s efforts in helping the Titans become an AFC South threat in only his third year as head coach.
The team also has other jewels like their $50 million dollar running back Derrick Henry, and their Quarterback Ryan Tannehill who signed a four-year $118 million deal in 2020. Amy Adams Strunk is the controlling owner of the Titans with her 50% stake, and the rest belongs to members of her family.
The Arizona Cardinals’ $2.65 billion valuation makes them the 27th most valuable NFL franchise. That signifies a 14% increase in the team’s value during the pandemic, and a monstrous increase in value from when team owner, Michael Bidwill’s grandfather paid $50,000 for the team in 1932.
Some of the team’s top players are Kyler Murray, their quarterback whose rookie $10 million dollar contract makes him a steal for what he brings, their wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, and J.J. Watt, their veteran defensive specialist.
Shahid Khan purchased the Jacksonville Jaguars for $770 million in 2011, and today, the Jaguars are valued at $2.8 billion according to Forbes. Despite the monetary gains, the team has recorded its share of losses on the field, and so they’ve gone through different coaches over the years.
Doug Pederson was brought in to fix things after a horrible 3-14 season. They got a much better quarterback when they selected Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft who showed promise during his rookie season. Along with their 2022 draft pick Travon Walker, the team has set itself up to have a promising young lineup.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints are valued at $2.8B and are therefore the 25th most valuable team in the NFL. Sean Payton was their longtime head coach for about 17 seasons before retiring after the 2021 season, and they feature high-caliber players such as Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara on their roster.
The Saints landed a 20-year naming rights deal to their Superdome with Caesars Entertainment in July 2021. That deal is worth $138 million, and it was immediately earmarked for stadium refinements. Up until the 1974 season, they played home games in the Tulane Stadium. The Saints' most significant achievement came in Super Bowl XLIV when they defeated the Indianapolis Colts to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
The Carolina Panthers owner, David Tepper, is one of the wealthiest sports team owners in the world so it’s only right that the Panthers are valued at $2.91 billion. Tepper made some notable changes to the Panthers’ management recently, including hiring Matt Ruhle as head coach and handing him a seven-year, $62 million contract in 2021.
They also got a new GM in Scott Fitterer and a new quarterback in Sam Darnold. The Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium is one of the NFL’s oldest venues. The 2021 season was rough for the Panthers losing their last seven games of the season and ending up with a 5-12 record. We are sure that they are looking forward to rebounding in the upcoming season with some newly added weapons on offense.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers are valued at $2.92 billion, good for the 23rd most valuable franchise in the NFL. However, the team’s management has been rocky behind the scenes in recent seasons; team owner Dea Spanos Berberian had to file a motion in court to stop her brother, and team Chairman, Dean Spanos, from selling the team in 2021.
That motion is still in court, but it didn’t stop the Chargers from moving from San Diego to Los Angeles into the SoFi Stadium where they now earn 15% of total team revenue. Although they haven't made the playoffs in the last three years, their support in Los Angeles remains strong, though watching the Rams just win the Super Bowl may have the city playing favorites.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Lamar Hunt family has owned the Kansas City Chiefs since 1960 when they paid only $25,000 for the team. Under their management, the Chiefs’ value has skyrocketed. The team is now valued at $2.93 billion and has become a popular destination for some of the NFL’s top players.
They made history by signing Patrick Mahomes, an MVP quarterback, to a historic 10-year, $500 million contract after winning Super Bowl LIV. He led the NFL in passing yards per game the next season, securing the Chiefs’ return to the Super Bowl in the process.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the 21st most valuable franchise in the NFL with a $2.94 billion valuation. The team recruited Tom Brady to help them over the hump after missing the playoffs for over a decade and becoming the league laughing stock.
They then became the first NFL team to win the Super Bowl in their home stadium, and they also made a lot of money courtesy of Tom Brady as the sales of their star players' jersey expanded tenfold. Ticket prices have been marginally raised but most fans don't mind that, especially when you get the chance to see the greatest of all time at work.
Arthur Blank paid $545 million for the Atlanta Falcons in 2002 and he has since overseen a period in which the team’s value has skyrocketed. They’re now valued at $3.2 billion, with a 31% debt value, and about $234 million in player expenses.
The Falcons underwent a down period starting from the 2017 season, and as a result, former head coach, Dan Quinn was fired in 2020, and Arthur Smith was brought in as his replacement. They also drafted Kyle Pitts with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, making him the highest drafted tight end in NFL history.
The Indianapolis Colts’ $3.25 billion valuation makes them the 19th most valuable NFL franchise. Team owner, James Irsay purchased the team for $14 million in 1972, and he has since overseen a steady increase in the Colts’ value over the years, even after losing their franchise quarterback Andrew Luck.
The Colts have made a host of roster changes in recent seasons; they traded for Carson Wentz, a former No. 2 pick but that trade didn't provide the return they expected because he suffered an ankle injury. The Colts moved to Lucas Oil Stadium in 2008, and they’ve played all their home games there since.
Signing star quarterback Kirk Cousins was supposed to improve the Vikings’ fortunes but they’ve been hit by some bad luck since he joined. The team has a $3.35 billion valuation but they haven’t been as fortunate on the field in recent seasons.
Cousins produced his best year in 2020 as he connected on 35 touchdowns and threw for 4,200 yards, yet the Vikings missed the playoffs. They boasted one of the league’s best defenses with Patrick Peterson being brought in to add to their secondary.
The Ravens currently house the 2019 NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson, on their roster, yet, they have suffered a couple of painful early playoff exits in recent seasons. As a result, team owner Stephen Bisciotti decided his $3.4 billion team needed a better offensive line to complement Jackson’s skills.
That led to a trade that saw the Ravens land four draft picks for Orlando Brown Jr. The Ravens have also secured a deal with BetMGM for promotion efforts and stadium signs, and another deal with Sportradar. You can tell the Ravens are getting serious about their team and are hoping to recapture the magic they had during their 2012 season when they won Super Bowl XLVII.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas became the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020, though the Raiders still have lots of loyal fans in Oakland and Los Angeles. The construction of the stadium cost $1.9 billion, more than half of the Raiders’ $3.4 billion valuation.
It had an effect though, as the Raiders had their best season in five years the next season, and as a result, the duo of Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs made the top 50 in NFL merchandise sales. Shortly after, the Raiders also had the first active gay player in the NFL in Carl Nassib.
The Miami Dolphins are the 15th most valuable franchise in the NFL with a $3.42 billion valuation. Team owner, Stephen Ross purchased the Dolphins for $1.1 billion, so the team’s value has tripled in 13 years. The team is in such high demand that even celebrities like Jennifer Lopez have owned portions of the team at one point.
Tua Tagovailoa became the Dolphins’ starting quarterback in 2021, and the team decided to capitalize on having the most cap space by signing top talent to bolster an already solid defense. They feature one of the highest-paid corner pairs in the NFL in Byron Jones and Xavien Howard who earn more than $30 million combined.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are owned by Arthur Rooney II and Daniel Rooney Trust. They’re also valued at $3.43 billion, and they have the likes of IHeart Media and KDKA-TV as their media partners. The Steelers have enjoyed a lot of success lately; they enjoyed their 15th straight winning season under Mike Tomlin in 2021.
They’ve also enjoyed a ton of stability thanks to Ben Roethlisberger, a seven-time Pro Bowler and the team's starting quarterback for nearly two decades. Their stadium became known as the Acrisure Stadium recently, ending two decades as Heinz Field.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are a shareholder-owned NFL team valued at $3.47 billion. They are one of the small-town teams in the league and the only non-profit community-owned team in the US. Like many other NFL teams, the Packers recorded operating losses during the pandemic, but $120 million in gains helped ease those losses.
The Packers are one of the oldest NFL franchises, established in 1919, and they currently have a future Hall of Famer in Aaron Rodgers, a three-time MVP quarterback on their roster. The Packers play at Lambeau Field, one of the oldest venues in all of football, and have called it home since 1957.
Paul G. Allen Trust purchased the Seattle Seahawks for $194 million in 1997 but the team is now worth $3.5 billion. They have appeared in the playoffs in all but two seasons since Pete Carroll took over as head coach, and they also have star wideout, Tyler Lockett on their roster.
The Seahawks joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1976, and they have played their home games at Lumen Field in Seattle since 2002. They were Super Bowl Champs in 2013, and they’ve also won 3 conference championships and 11 division championships.
The Texans’ $3.7 billion valuation makes the Janice McNair-owned team the 11th most valuable NFL franchise. The team was founded in 1999, and up until Bob McNair’s death in 2018, they were his team. The Texans are the youngest NFL franchise, as they only began competing as an expansion team in 2002.
The team’s fortunes improved in 2011 when they won their first division championship, and a place in the playoffs; they’ve also won five more AFC South Championships since then. They ended last season with a 4-13 record, but have made some moves in the off-season that will hopefully see their team thrive in the upcoming season.
Like the Seattle Seahawks, the Denver Broncos are also owned by a Trust, but the Broncos have a slightly higher $3.75 billion valuation. After team CEO and President, Joe Ellis announced he wouldn’t be at the helm of the team’s affairs after the 2021 season, several options were considered, and in the end, Condoleezza Rice was brought on board as part-owner.
The Broncos have won 15 division championships, 8 conference championships, and 3 Super Bowl Championships. The Empower Field at Mile High has been the Broncos’ home stadium since 2001. A huge announcement for this franchise is that the Walton-Penner family has recently agreed to purchase the Broncos for around $4.65 billion, though it must first be approved by the NFL's Finance Committee. This will surely affect every other team's valuation in the upcoming years.
The Philadelphia Eagles are valued at $3.8 billion, good for the NFL’s 9th most valuable franchise. The Eagles’ home games are played at Lincoln Financial Field in South Philadelphia, and the team is owned by Jeffrey Lurie. The bankruptcy of the Frankford Yellow Jackets led to the creation of the Philadelphia Eagles franchise as a replacement.
The Eagles have appeared in the playoffs 27 times, appeared in three Super Bowls, and won Super Bowl LII. They’re best known for their intense rivalry with the New York Giants, which has always been a great battle to watch throughout the years.
New York Jets
The Johnson Family-owned New York Jets are valued at $4.05 billion and are therefore the 8th most valuable NFL franchise. The team didn’t find much success with Adam Gase so former 49ers defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh was brought in to fix things.
The results have been mixed since Saleh’s arrival despite the fact that he’s considered one of the best coaches in the game. The Jets’ home games are played at the MetLife Stadium which they share with the New York Giants, and the team is operated as a limited liability company.
The Chicago Bears have a historic franchise, best known for their rivalry with the Green Bay Packers. The McCaskey family finally decided to move their $4.075 billion franchise away from their long-standing Soldier Field Stadium when they bid to buy the Arlington International Racecourse in 2020.
The Bears have played at Soldier Field since 1971, and there would be some apparent benefits for the team to move out since Soldier Field is currently the smallest NFL stadium but plans to move the Bears haven’t been finalized. The team is located in one of the NFL’s biggest markets, and it earns $370 million in revenue.
San Francisco 49ers
The $4.17 billion San Francisco 49ers is owned by John York and Denise DeBartolo. The 49ers are one of the older NFL teams, as the team was founded in 1946, and it joined the NFL in 1949 after a merger of the leagues. They have since been a major force in the NFC West.
They first called the Kezar Stadium home before moving to Candlestick Park in 1971, and in 2014, they moved to Levi’s Stadium. They are one of the NFL’s most successful franchises; from 1981 to 1994, the team enjoyed a successful run in which they won five Super Bowl championships.
The Daniel Snyder-owned Washington Commanders are the NFL’s fifth most valuable team. The Commanders are a $4.2 billion franchise whose home games are played at FedExField in Maryland, and whose headquarters and training facility are in Virginia. They are 600 wins away from winning 1,000 NFL games making it one of only five teams to achieve the feat.
The team has been rebranded a couple of times over the years; it has been known as the Boston Braves, the Boston Redskins, the Washington Redskins, and the Washington Football Team at different points. They are now the Washington Commanders due to audiences finding their previous name offensive.
Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams are the fourth most valuable franchise in the NFL courtesy of their $4.8 billion valuation that is only slightly exceeded by their $5 billion SoFi stadium. The Rams moved into the modern stadium in 2020, and the Chargers hopped on for the ride as well.
The Rams club is the only NFL franchise to achieve the historic feat of winning championships while representing three cities; the team won championships while representing Cleveland, Los Angeles, and St. Louis. They also have an extended rivalry with the 49ers.
New York Giants
The New York Giants came in second in a weak NFC East in their first season with Joe Judge as head coach. Star running back Saquon Barkley suffered a torn ACL early in the season that ruled him out for the rest of the season.
In May 2021, the $4.85 billion dollar franchise signed the first cryptocurrency deal in the NFL with Grayscale Investments, a New York-based group. The deal includes crypto educational seminars and home game sponsorship.
New England Patriots
At a valuation of $5 billion, the Patriots are the second most valuable NFL team. The team recorded its first losing season in years after the Tom Brady era came to an end. Cam Newton was brought in as Brady’s replacement but a string of injuries reduced his ability to effectively contribute to the team’s success.
The Patriots joined the NFL through the 1970 merger, and they have played their home games at different stadiums over the years. They currently tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowl wins, and they hold the record for most Super Bowl appearances.
The NFL’s most valuable franchise, the Dallas Cowboys, has called AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas home since 2009 when they funded the build with $1.3 billion dollars. The team is owned by Jerry Jones, and according to Forbes, it is valued at $6.5 billion.
They have 5 League Championships, 5 Super Bowl Championships, 10 Conference Championships, 24 Division Championships, and a total of 34 Playoff appearances. In 2002, the Cowboys began a streak of 190 sold-out games in the regular season and post-season. They’re the only NFL team to record 20 consecutive winning seasons.