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The 9 Least Valuable Teams in the NFL

by: Esteban On  Friday, September 6, 2013
Tags:  Football   Most Valuable Teams   NFL  

least valuable nfl franchises

Whenever the rankings of the value of NFL franchises come out, most of the attention is given to the big guys at the top. Today, however, we’re going to do things in reverse. Instead of counting down the most valuable NFL teams, we’re going to countdown the least valuable NFL teams.

Why? Well, for one, doing lists of the most valuable NFL teams gets boring. (Yeah, we get it already. The Cowboys are “America’s Team.”) However, it’s also just kind of fun to take a look at the bottom of the barrel and feel glad that your team isn’t in there…unless, of course, your team is in there.

Of course, even the least valuable NFL team is more valuable than all but four MLB teams. So no matter what, the NFL is a pretty good investment.

Let’s get started then, shall we?


9. Arizona Cardinals


Estimated Worth: $961 Million

Team Owner: Bill Bidwell

Super Bowl Wins/Appearances: 0/1

The Arizona Cardinals do have  a couple of championships in their history. It’s just that those championships came way back in 1925 and 1947, long before the Super Bowl even existed. And since their last championship, the team has relocated twice—first to St. Louis in 1960, then to Arizona in 1988—which is not usually a good sign.

Also not good? Sucking most of the time. And that is pretty much what the Cardinals have done for the last 20 years.


8. San Diego Chargers

7 san diego chargers - least valuable nfl franchises

Estimated Worth: $949 Million

Team Owner: Alex Spanos

Super Bowl Wins/Appearances: 0/1

When you think of the Chargers, you don’t think of them as being one of the worst franchises in the league or anything. (Unlike the Cleveland Browns, who aren’t even on this list, if you can believe that.) That being said, this is the same franchise that employed Norv Turner as it’s head coach for six seasons. (A guy who is now employed, ironically, by the aforementioned browns.) So, that’s got to drive down their value a bit.

The fact that the Chargers have never won the Super Bowl since they joined the NFL in 1970 and are always mentioned as relocation candidates doesn’t help, either.


7. Atlanta Falcons

6 atlanta falcons - least valuable nfl franchises

Estimated Worth: $933 Million

Team Owner: Arthur Bank

Super Bowl Wins/Appearances: 0/1

The Falcons are a Super Bowl contender right now, and they’ve been a strong team for the majority of the last decade, having made six playoff appearances in that time. However, they’ve only ever been to one Super Bowl, and that’s just not a good success rate for building a marketable sports brand. At to this the fact that they don’t play in a sufficiently modern venue, and you’ve got a recipe for a (relatively) low-value NFL franchise.

However, if they manage to win a championship and build a new stadium in the next five years, don’t be surprised if they jump up ten spots or so. Atlanta is a pretty big media market.


6. Cincinnati Bengals

5 cincinnati bengals - least valuable nfl franchises

Estimated Worth: $924 Million

Team Owner: Mike Brown

Super Bowl Wins/Appearances: 0/2

Don’t let the Bengals recent success on the gridiron fool you. This is a historically bad franchise. They went to the Super Bowl twice in the 1980s, then experienced a 14-year playoff drought from 1990 to 2005. Meanwhile, they made terrible draft and personnel decisions, and fielded more convicted felons than any other team in the NFL in the 2000s. Oh, and they’re in one of the NFL’s smaller markets. So…yeah.


5. Detroit Lions

5 detroit lions least valuable nfl franchises

Estimated Worth: $900 Million

Team Owner: Clay Ford

Super Bowl Wins/Appearances: 0/0

The Lions were without a doubt one of the best football teams of the 1950s, winning NFL championships in 1952, 1953, and 1957. Unfortunately, the 1950s were a long time ago, and since then things haven’t been so great. They had a pretty solid run in the 1990s, but that’s about it. Now, though they play in a relatively new and modern facility, they are also located in Detroit—the first major North American city to declare bankruptcy.


4. St. Louis Rams

4 st. louis rams - least valuable nfl franchises

Estimated Worth: $875 Million

Team Owner: Stan Kroenke

Super Bowl Wins/Appearances: 1/3

The Rams are a weird case. On the one hand, they had a very solid run in the early 2000s that included a Super Bowl Victory. Moreover, they are a storied franchise with two pre-Super Bowl NFL Championships and a number of football Hall of Famers.

On the other hand, they did relocate from the nation’s second-largest market (Los Angeles) to the nation’s, um, not-second-largest market (St. Louis) in 1995. Then, after their dominant run in the early 2000s, they were absolutely disgustingly awful.

Now the Rams are a pretty decent team again, but embroiled in big stadium drama in St. Louis. If they get that worked out, they’ll surely rise a few spots on the least of most valuable NFL teams.


3. Buffalo Bills

3 buffalo bills - least valuable nfl franchises

Estimated Worth: $870 Million

Team Owner: Ralph Wilson Jr.

Super Bowl Wins/Appearances: 0/4

Oh, Buffalo. You make me so sad. Four straight trips to the Super Bowl from 1990 to 1993, zero rings to show for it. Plus, your fans are awesome, but they happen to be from a tiny market that’s struggled economically in recent years. With zero playoff appearances since 1999—seriously, 12 years—it’s kind of a miracle you aren’t the least valuable team in the league.


2. Jacksonville Jaguars

2 jacksonville jaguars - least valuable nfl franchises

Estimated Worth: $840 Million

Team Owner: Shahid Khan

Super Bowl Wins/Appearances: 0/0

There are only four teams in the NFL who have never played in a Super Bowl. One of them is the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Now, I know they have only been around since 1995, so it’s hardly fair to compare them to the Lions or Browns, who have been around forever. But in recent years it’s the Jags who have become the worst team in the league. Combine that with the fact that they play in a small market, and that makes them the second least valuable team in the NFL…but still way more valuable than either of the last two World Series champions, and probably more valuable than all of the NHL teams combines.

Okay, I’m kidding about the NHL thing. But you get my point. NFL is king.


1. Oakland Raiders

1 oakland raiders - least valuable nfl franchises

Estimated Worth: $825 Million

Team Owner: Mark Davis

Super Bowl Wins/Appearances: 3/5

The great irony here is that the Raiders are the least valuable team in the NFL, despite being by far the most successful team (historically) on this list. I mean, 3 Super Bowl victories in five appearances? Only five teams have been to more Super Bowls than that, and only five have won more than that.

Nevertheless, mostly thanks to the late, great Al Davis, the Raiders are today a horrible franchise.

Sorry, Raiders fans. I mean no offense. Please don’t beat me up.